Culture

The Senate Voted To Overturn The FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal. Now It’s Time For The House To Take Action.

by Tod Perry

May 17, 2018

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net-neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or specific content.

The repeal granted internet service providers (ISPs) the ability to push consumers towards their content and products while potentially slowing down or eliminating access to their competitors’ sites.

The repeal will also allow ISPs to split internet access into bundles like cable companies do with television programming. 

Advocates for the repeal believe it will foster innovation, boost investment, and give broadband providers incentive to build new networks. 

After the FCC’s decision, big tech companies like Foursquare, Etsy, Expa, Shutterstock, Kickstarter, and Automattic have said they would challenge the FCC’s ruling in court. 

Public outrage over the ruling caused the Senate to attempt to strike it down through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA allows Congress to overturn a federal agency decision via simple majority vote. 

On May 16, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of overturning the FCC’s net neutrality ruling. The vote went primarily down party lines, but two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Kennedy of Louisiana, broke with GOP ranks and approved the measure. 

The Senate vote was a huge victory for net-neutrality advocates, but now it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Congress. At the time of writing, 161 representatives have signaled interest in voting for the House version of the CRA, 57 short of a majority. 

If the CRA passes the House, it will have to be signed into law by President Trump. 

Top and share image by Credo Action/Flickr.

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The Senate Voted To Overturn The FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal. Now It’s Time For The House To Take Action.