Friday, 19 April, 2019

House votes to restore net neutrality rules

House passes bill to restore 'net neutrality' rules House of Representatives passes bill to restore net neutrality
Priscilla Morrison | 12 April, 2019, 17:39

"The Internet is free and open, while faster broadband is being deployed across America".

Even if the Save the Net Act passes the Senate, there's the very likely reality that President Trump will veto it.

Still, around 86 percent of Americans (including 82 percent of Republicans) opposed the FCC's net neutrality repeal, according to a survey previous year by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland.

The concept of net neutrality has become a partisan issue, which makes the fate of net neutrality rules dependent on whether Democrats or Republicans hold majority control. This bill would force the FCC to regulate the internet in the same way it regulates TV for example. Companies like Netflix have advocated for net neutrality, finding themselves on the opposite side of large service providers like Comcast and AT&T. According to Mike Doyle (D-PA), the bill's main sponsor, it also reaffirms the FCC's power and authority. They were highly partisan in Washington and came after a decade of telecom-industry resistance.

More news: Samsung Users Moving to Pixel, OnePlus: Counterpoint

When it rolled back the regulations, the FCC included a provision barring states from issuing their own net neutrality rules. The effort to repeal it stemmed from the drive to curb the ability of internet providers to erect gates around content. Proponents of net neutrality say it prevents private companies from dictating the flow of information on the internet.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the bill overturning a Federal Communications Commission December 2017 repeal would be "dead on arrival" in the Senate. A collection of tech companies, advocacy groups and almost two dozen states sued the FCC a year ago to challenge the repeal.

The public consensus was illustrated by the five million viewers who Fight for the Future said had already tuned into the group's marathon livestream, where public interest groups along with celebrities including Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine were among those making cameos, urging Americans to call their representatives and tell them to vote "yes" on H.R. 1644.

Whatever the outcome, the losing parties may petition the Supreme Court to hear the case.

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