ND Senate discuss net neutrality, plan moving forward

ND Senate discuss net neutrality, plan moving forward

"This is a huge momentum creator, especially with three Republican votes".

The US Senate has voted on Wednesday on whether to reverse a decision by the Trump administration to roll back Obama-era "net neutrality" rules. "Let's treat the internet like the public good that it is". "The most important vote we're going to have in this generation on the internet", said Democratic Senator Edward Markey of MA, who sponsored the measure.

Markey said net neutrality has worked for the smallest voices and the largest, but he said internet service providers are trying to change the rules to benefit their interests.

The 2015 rules were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to Web content and bar broadband service providers from favoring their own material or others'. The resolution being offered by Democrats passed with the support of all 49 members of the Democratic caucus and three Republicans - Sens.

But the move has stirred fears among consumer advocates that cable and phone giants will be free to block access to services they don't like or set up "fast lanes" for preferred services - in turn, relegating everyone else to "slow lanes". "I don't know how that animates people to vote if their Netflix is working", he told Reuters.

"This is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable to all Americans", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., before the vote.

The measure, approved by a 52-47 vote, would void a decision made in December by the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission to repeal the regulations established in 2015 by the agency when Democrats controlled it during President Barack Obama's administration.

Lobbyists tried to convince senators that net neutrality rules aren't needed "because ISPs will self-regulate", and that blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are just hypothetical harms, Markey said.

Supporters portrayed themselves as defenders of the rights of Americans to unfettered access to the Internet by keeping protections in place that they said would prevent telecommunications companies from serving as gatekeepers for online content.

The revised rules were a win for internet service providers, whose practices faced significant government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order. But the new rules are opposed by internet firms like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc. A group of 22 states has sued the FCC over the repeal. "Instead of working with Republicans to develop permanent net neutrality legislation, they've chose to try to score political points with a partisan resolution that would do nothing to permanently secure net neutrality". In Spotify's pre-IPO filing in February, the company said laws limiting "internet neutrality" could 'decrease user demand for our service and increase our cost of doing business'. But unlike how utilities are treated, the FCC decided not to impose rate regulations or require broadband providers to file the notice of pricing plans.

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