U.S. net neutrality bill advances in the Senate

Net Neutrality graffiti on a brick wall

Net Neutrality the writing’s on the wall

The U.S. Senate voted along mostly party lines today in favor of a resolution to preserve an Obama-era internet regulation known as net neutrality. The net neutrality rules, approved by the same organization two years earlier, prohibited internet service providers - such as Comcast and Verizon - from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the solution was for lawmakers to draft net neutrality legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation". Susan Collins, R-Maine - leaving the effort one vote shy of passage.

"Every House member in OH, I assume, will hear from thousands, if not tens of thousands of their voters, their constituents, saying 'Stand with us, '" said Brown, who addressed the Akron Press Club last Friday. If successful in the House, it would then go to President Trump's desk to await his signature, although the President's support is unlikely, despite the amount of time he spends on the Internet. And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on JUNE 11th.

That may be a heavy lift, but Blumenthal reminded the Senate that the issue of net neutrality will likely be decided in court. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who runs the Senate Democrats' 2018 campaign operation.

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Representatives from Stonyfield are anxious, among other things, that Internet Service Providers could start charging more for access to some websites and services.

"That fundamental equality of access is what has made the internet so dynamic", he said on the Senate floor.

Providers have said they won't block or throttle legal websites but have left open the possibility that they might charge more for some data delivery. While powerful telecom companies would be the sole beneficiaries of the FCC's rule change, surveys have consistently showed widespread and bipartisan backing for the net neutrality protections, with a recent poll showing 83 percent of Americans in support.

If it ultimately passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, the net neutrality rules that the FCC had in place since 2015 would be restored, after the agency's Republican majority voted in December to repeal them. A majority, or 218 votes, would be needed there to force a vote. While the FCC is an independent government agency, it is overseen by Congress.

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Tusk also mentioned looking into ways to protect European companies from "negative consequences of the U.S. decision". He said: "We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration ".

Supporters of net neutrality regulations said they hoped the stronger-than-expected Senate vote would provide momentum as the fight to retain the existing regulations moves to the House.

"We don't let water companies or phone companies discriminate against customers, we don't restrict access to freeways deciding you can use them and you can't", Sen.

Net neutrality is an issue that resonates among certain Democratic voters, particularly millennials who might be persuaded to turn out in greater numbers in November's midterm elections that may determine which party controls the House and Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 margin.

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