The Senate has voted to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order and reject the FCC’s attempt to gut net neutrality. This is a great first step, but now the fight moves to the House of Representatives.
The final Senate vote was 52 to 47 in favor. That puts a bare majority of the Senate in step with the 86% of Americans who oppose the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality protections.
Net neutrality means that the company that controls your access to the Internet should not also control what you see and how quickly you see it once you’re there. We pay our ISPs plenty of money for Internet access, they shouldn’t have the ability to block or throttle any application or website we choose to use or visit. And they shouldn’t get to charge extra to deliver some content faster while slowing down others or get to prioritize their own content over that of competitors.
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The 2015 Open Internet Order was a great victory in banning blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization by ISPs. But under Chariman Ajit Pai, the FCC undid that good work by repealing the order and abandoning any responsibility for oversight. And it did so despite the huge number of Americans calling on it not to and despite the incorrect assumptions about how the Internet works that underlie its reasoning. The so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” does nothing of the kind, and it’s good to see the Senate acting to stop the FCC.
Despite the fact that millions of Americans of all stripes want to keep net neutrality, the number of House members supporting the Congressional Review Act (CRA) there languishes below the 218 number needed to pass. The Senate has led the way; now it’s time for the House of Representatives to step up especially as net neutrality is set to expire in June.