& cplSiteName &

Senate Vote Says Net Neutrality Can Stay Around a Little Longer

Mari Silbey
5/16/2018
50%
50%

Senate Democrats and three Republicans -- Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska -- voted today to restore net neutrality regulations, a move they hope will contribute to the reversal of a recent ruling by the FCC to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order.

The success is almost certainly short-lived, however. While Senators were able to secure a majority win, the issue will now move on to the House of Representatives where supporters are lacking the necessary votes for bicameral passage. Even if the House were to move the bill forward, it would then land on Donald Trump's desk and be subject to likely presidential veto. (See FCC Nixes Net Neutrality Rules on June 11.)

There is still a point to the Senate vote. Net neutrality advocates want to put legislators on the record regarding their Internet views. Since net neutrality is a popular issue with the public, the hope is that the public will punish lawmakers during midterm elections if they oppose it. The strategy assumes that net neutrality can top or at least compete with other hot-button issues including jobs, trade and immigration. Given recent voting trends, that's a tall order.

Senators were able to force a vote on net neutrality today through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA allows lawmakers to repeal a regulatory ruling within 60 legislative days of its passing. In this case, that ruling was the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which was introduced by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, and carried through by a Republican majority in the Commission. (See FCC Ends Net Neutrality.)

There are two major elements of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. First, it reverses the categorization of ISPs as Title II common carriers, whereby, in theory, the government can regulate broadband prices. (Note that when the FCC instated Title II classification for ISPs in 2015, it said it would forbear from rate regulation.)

This move was expected and is generally far removed from the public debate on net neutrality.

Secondly, however, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order removes so-called bright line rules, which mandate no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization on the Internet. It's this provision that is broadly controversial and has driven public protest and legislative angst.

Assuming a Congressional overhaul of the Order is unsuccessful, the FCC will officially roll back net neutrality rules on June 11.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2018 | 3:20:32 PM
Need Some Continuity
Heard a retired Congressman mention this regarding health care, but thinks it makes sense for net neutrality as well: We can't have massive sea changes everytime control swings from one party to another. There should be some basics that stay regardless of who is in the majority.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 17, 2018, Chicago, Illinois
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telus CTO: NFV Burden May Cripple Telcos
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/14/2018
Verizon CEO Says LA Is Second 5G City
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/16/2018
TM Forum Sea-Change Overcomes That Sinking Feeling
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/17/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Swisscom: Quick off the Blocks With 5G
By Gary Maidment, for Huawei
SAIL the Atlantic With CAMTEL
By Gary Maidment, for Huawei
What's in the Box?
By Huawei
Beginning With the End In Mind
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives