Sci-tech

Senate Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Achieves Important Milestone

Senate Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Achieves Important Milestone

While McCaskill's support is good news for those who wish to see the decision overturned, the vote in itself will not be enough to ensure that net neutrality will be restored. The FCC publicly released its sent 539-page final order on January 5, and the new rule takes effect upon approval by the Office of Management and Budget. Today, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced that she has signed on to be the 30th co-sponsor. But under the Congressional Review Act, 20 calendar days after the measure is given to the committee, the measure moves to the floor once 30 senators have expressed support for it in writing.

"I dissent from this fiercely-spun, legally-lightweight, consumer-harming, corporate-enabling Destroying Internet Freedom Order", writes FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in a whopping 281-page statement. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party.

The fact that no Republicans have signed onto the resolution means it's likely to be defeated in a floor vote. If passed, the bill would overturn the FCC's rollback of net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act - the same legislative policy Republicans used to roll back Obama-era regulations a year ago.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting the widespread popularity of the net-neutrality rules. The commission did adopt new rules requiring that internet providers disclose the way they handle traffic, but net neutrality advocates say that they are insufficient. A University of Maryland poll last month found that 83% of Americans and 75% of Republicans said they supported them.

"Every member of the U.S. Senate will have to go on the record, during a tight election year, and either vote to save the Internet or rubber stamp its death warrant", Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, stated Monday.

The big question now is, what would the major tech companies that depend on customers' internet access do to combat the repeal?

He continued: "Regardless of party affiliation, all elected officials should stand with their constituents and restore the 2015 protections that protect free speech, choice, and innovation online".

Net neutrality has become just one more pawn in the endless self-absorbed battles between the parties that has led to Congress' 78 per cent disapproval rating (down from 81 per cent in November).