Democrats say there’s hope for US net neutrality yet

Democrats say there’s hope for US net neutrality yet
Credit: Backbone Campaign / Flickr

Democrats in the US Senate said they’ll force a vote to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent move to repeal net neutrality guidelines for internet service providers (ISPs), reports Reuters.

We heard this from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer last month too, and we noted that it wouldn’t be easy for Congress to fight the FCC on the matter, owing to a large number of Republican representatives in the house who were opposed to saving net neutrality. But now, the Democrats have an ally in Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voiced her support for overturning the FCC’s decision.

With that, Democrats now only need one more Republican in the Senate to back a vote to repeal the FCC’s action.

It still isn’t a cakewalk, as a reversal of the FCC vote to kill net neutrality would require approval from not just the Senate, but also the US House and President Trump – the latter of whom supported the decision.

Without net neutrality, ISPs can block or throttle web traffic from certain sources, and offer fast lanes to those content and online service providers who pay for the privilege – thus creating an uneven playing field in cyberspace. Major ISPs like Comcast are already taking advantage of the FCC’s upcoming action by raising prices this year.

It’s worth noting, however, that the new rules for ISPs will actually come into play three months from now; as such, it isn’t yet clear when Democrats when force a vote in the Senate.

In case they’re looking for a guidebook on how to play things, they’d do well to look to India, which recently enacted rules to preserve net neutrality nationwide.

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