As of May 16, net neutrality is on the way to be restored despite the Federal Communication Commission’s efforts to repeal it.
Net neutrality is the policy in which Internet providers allow equal access to all content on the Internet no matter the source.
“Under the new plan, internet service providers are allowed to slow down or block access to certain services or charge higher fees for faster service, as long as they disclose those policies to the public,” according to boston.com.
Major backlash has resulted from the repeal of net neutrality because it targets average Americans.
“The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price.”
This ideal of net neutrality was instated on Feb. 26, 2015 by the FCC. The chairman at the time, Tom Wheeler, proposed the idea of regulating the internet as a public utility.
“I’m asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life,” said former President Barack Obama.
The repeal on net neutrality was set to take action on June 11 of this year. However, the Senate voted on May 16 to allow the repeal of the new regulations under net neutrality with a vote of 52 to 47.
Senator Ed Markey introduced the repeal under the Congressional Review Act, which enables congress to challenge a federal agency’s regulatory activity, but it has to pass through more barriers.
The Senate vote does not necessarily mean an instant save of net neutrality. The House has to vote as well, which has a majority of Republicans, but it needs a simple majority vote, so no ability to filibuster. Then, President Donald Trump has to sign it into a law.
Although many Republicans have not shown favor for net neutrality, it does have support from both parties in general. Three Republican senators switched to be in favor of net neutrality in the Senate vote, so a bipartisan agreement is possible. Trump, however, has tweeted in opposition to net neutrality in 2014.
“Obama’s attack on the internet is another top-down power grab,” tweeted Trump. “Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.”
On May 17, U.S. Representative Mike Doyle filed for a discharge petition, continuing the fight for net neutrality in the house. The petition needs 218 signatures, the majority of the House, in order to bring the issue to a floor vote.
Although there are numerous more obstacles for net neutrality to remain the same as its 2015 form, it has the potential to live on.