BREAKING: Senate Votes to Reverse FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal
The United States Senate has voted to overturn the repeal of net neutrality protections approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December 2017. In a surprising 52-47 vote, the Senate disapproved the FCC’s order that aims to replace net neutrality rules put in place back in 2015.
Approving a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would undo the FCC's vote to deregulate the industry, the CRA has to be further approved by the House and then signed by President Trump. While it seems unlikely if that would happen, the Senate's vote is a strong indication of the pushback by Americans in different states that led to today's vote.
BREAKING: The Senate just voted to restore #NetNeutrality! We won.
To all of those who kept fighting and didn’t get discouraged: you did this. You raised your voices and we heard you. Thank you.
Now the fight continues. On to the House!
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 16, 2018
The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to undo recently created rules by federal agencies. If the House and President do approve this review, ISPs will be required to continue following rules that prohibit them from censoring or blocking content or offering paid, fast lanes. Ahead of today's vote, ISPs didn't sit silent and tried to lobby the senators demanding them to vote NO.
Lobby groups representing major cable, telecom, and mobile carrier companies urged senators to vote against the restoration of net neutrality protections.
Ed Markey asked his colleagues to ignore "armies of lobbyists marching the halls of Congress on behalf of big Internet service providers." All Democrats and three Republicans helped vote against the repeal of net neutrality protections. Alaska’s Lisa Murowski, Louisiana’s John Kennedy, and Maine’s Susan Collins supported to bring the vote to 52-47.
Ajit Pai isn't happy about Senate disregarding his opinion on net neutrality
In his statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that it's "disappointing" that Senate would force this resolution, which is surprising since Pai had remained outspoken about disregarding the public comment process during which millions of Americans weighed in on the issue.
"But ultimately, I’m confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail," he said in his statement.
On the other hand, the FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel supported today's vote. "Today the United States Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late last year,” she said in a statement.
"Today’s vote is a sign that the fight for internet freedom is far from over. I’ll keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will too."