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


The senate passed a resolution in a 52-47 vote to retract a decision last December by the Federal Communications Commission to disassemble Obama-era directive that intercepted broadband contributors like Verizon and Comcast from obstructing or accelerate streams and downloads of web content in trade off for additional fees.

A major objection about the Net neutrality rules was the FCC's decision to classify broadband as a more highly regulated utilitylike service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

Some say the decision could be largely symbolic, given that the majority of the American public support net neutrality and politicians are well aware how their stance on the issue might affect them when voters go to the polls for the midterms.

Senators voted 52-47 to overturn the Restoring Internet Freedom Order issued by the FCC previous year.

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A vote summary can be viewed here. The potential full support of all Democrats would still see the need for 22 Republicans to agree in order for this to happen, which many United States analysts view as a tall order. Now the resolution goes to the House of Representatives and potentially President Donald Trump. They will face a tough fight in the House because many Republican reps support FCC's regulation.

Nevertheless, net neutrality proponents are satisfied with the current victory, noting that the American public finally knows the official position of all Senators on the matter.

Net neutrality advocates rally February 27 at the Capitol.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke after the vote to begin debate earlier Wednesday, arguing that "at stake is the future of the internet".

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"It's typical of how Republicans have used their total control of Washington: Increase costs on Americans who actually work for a living while giving more breaks to the rich, well-connected special interests they care about". "And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11".

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he was disappointed by the Senate vote.

"A free and open internet is a building block for the 21st Century and we must pursue ways to help it flourish", Sen.

Referring to a time before new regulation was introduced by the Obama administration, he said: "That's what we're going back to: rules that were in place for two decades under a light-touch regulatory approach that allowed the internet to explode and prosper and grow".

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"After you pay your monthly bill to your internet service provider, you should be able to access all of the content on the internet at the same speed as your neighbor", U.S. Sen.