Net neutrality gets a reprieve, but it could be short-lived

FCC Chair Ajit Pai's

In the short space of time since the ruling, many people in the USA have been doing their best to reverse the decision. The FCC's repeal of #NetNeutrality threatens to take that away. "Independent studies all say that net neutrality protections haven't hurt a thing".

And the FCC, a politicized and gridlocked regulatory commission that was designed in the era when radio was king, probably shouldn't be making those decisions either. And the high-profile vote could shine a spotlight on lawmakers running for reelection during a tough midterm season. Republicans said they were willing to work with Democrats on enshrining the principle of net neutrality in legislation. In a 52-47 vote that saw three Republicans join Senate Democrats in approving a measure that prevents internet providers from favoring their own sites and apps. Such a vote was made possible under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review new regulations with a majority vote.

With the House expected to be an extremely tight race, and the polls so far showing that the Republicans have more to fear, some Republican Congressmen and women may not want to give people another reason to vote them out. Today, Chairman Ajit Pai, part of the Republican majority, said the new policy would end "the heavy-handed, utility-style regulation from 1934 of broadband Internet access service". The symbolic move was led by the Democrats, with the support of three Republican Senators.

Neither tipped a hand until they voted a few hours earlier Wednesday to move the measure past a procedural hurdle. Edward Markey, D-Mass., during debate over the resolution.

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A democratic MA senator introduced an effort to preserve neutrality, and it passed the senate floor with a 52 to 47 vote. Mr. Schumer said that the democratic situation is extremely straightforward; the internet should be treated like the public good that it is.

The regulations are strongly supported by liberals and online companies including Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google, and dozens of smaller Web-based companies. We didn't need Washington to regulate companies for the internet to develop and flourish into what it is today. "Net neutrality is essential for ensuring new companies can compete with established ones, so we encourage citizens to contact their representatives in the House to make their voices heard".

By embracing a more populist, pro-consumer vision of net-neutrality, Trump could cut off some of the net-neutrality attacks at the pass, so to speak.

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