Monday, 25 June, 2018

Democrats force Senate vote on net neutrality repeal

FCC claims US internet too fast Can California preserve net neutrality? Lawmakers pledge to try
Mandy Jefferson | 09 January, 2018, 00:44

A Senate bill aiming to restore net neutrality after the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) decision to repeal it in December, received its 30th co-sponsor on Monday. On Monday, the bill garnered the support of seven additional co-sponsors, guaranteeing that the Senate will vote on the proposal.

While Democrats have reached a crucial threshold for bringing the bill to vote on the Senate floor, it's unlikely to pass since Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The battle over net neutrality has raged for over a decade in the FCC and the courts, with both sides contending they represent "internet freedom".

"The final version of Chairman Pai's rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers", IA President Michael Beckerman said. As enacted in 2015, net neutrality secures the existence of an open internet, where internet service providers (ISPs) don't hold the power to block sites and throttle prices with their changing corporate desires.

GoPro exits the drone business, confirms job cuts
There have also been issues with some products, including the recall of its Karma aerial camera in 2016, after unexpected crashes. Together with the tough legal positions in the U.S. and Europe, said GoPro , "these factors make the aerial market untenable".


Other public interest groups, including Free Press and Public Knowledge, along with some start-ups, announced plans to challenge the commission's move weeks ago, but the Internet Association had been undecided about how to respond. The sponsors for the resolution include 29 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with the Democrats. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overrule any regulation issued by a government agency with a simple majority. A tie vote would likely mean the deciding vote would be cast by VP Mike Pence, dooming the resolution. Under the terms of the CRA, the Senate has 60 days from when the FCC passed the rule to review it.

The repeal of net neutrality could destroy the existing free internet in the U.S.as we know it. However, it is going to force Republicans to take a highly unpopular vote in an election year if they don't choose to protect net neutrality.

Washington state lawmakers, anticipating the repeal to net neutrality rules, hope to force broadband companies to disclose accurate information about the price and speed of their services, while also preventing those companies from creating so-called "fast lanes" for consumers who pay more.

"Supporting net neutrality should be a no-brainer for members of Congress, whose constituents from across the political spectrum are united in their opposition to the Trump FCC's attack on the open internet", Matt Wood, Free Press' Action Fund policy director, said in a statement.

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