Hassan Says Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules Could Hurt NH's Dairy Farmers

May 17, 2018, 00:58
Hassan Says Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules Could Hurt NH's Dairy Farmers

Three Republican Senators voted with all 49 Democrats in the chamber to pass a measure TODAY (5/16) to repeal the FCC's new rules that dismantled net neutrality.

The Republican-controlled FCC voted in December to repeal the rules, which require internet service providers to give equal footing to all web traffic.

Republicans voting for the measure included Susan Collins, of Maine, John Kennedy, of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska.

Representative Mike Doyle, a Democrat, said he would launch an effort on Thursday to try to force a House vote and needs the backing of at least two dozen Republicans.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called it a "highly politicized campaign" that was filled with "fear-mongering hypotheticals, misdirection and outright false claims".

"Every House member in OH, I assume, will hear from thousands, if not tens of thousands of their voters, their constituents, saying 'Stand with us, '" said Brown, who addressed the Akron Press Club last Friday.

With less than 24 hours until the vote, the fate of net neutrality is in the hands of the Senate.

The FCC's new anti-net-neutrality regulation, set to take effect next month, eliminates those prohibitions.

As lawmakers prepare to vote on the CRA, internet activists have tried to push them into supporting it.

This issue doesn't cut along clean party lines, said Steven Kull, who runs the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland and has studied public attitudes on net neutrality.

"Well, some on the other side of the aisle reached the cynical conclusion that exploiting concern about the internet outweighed the value of working with Republicans to pass net neutrality protections".

"That fundamental equality of access is what has made the internet so dynamic", he said on the Senate floor.

They further classified the internet as a "telecommunications service" subject to Title II of the 1934 Communications Act - not an "information service", and reportedly sought to address legal ambiguity caused by previous open internet regulations that had been struck down by courts.

Net neutrality has been championed by congressional Democrats, who hope that their support of an open internet will appeal to young voters.

Schumer said in an earlier statement, "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".

"The Senate vote, on the eve of midterms, could have significant political effects", said Marc Martin, a telecom lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington. The current FCC moved to repeal them in a 3-2 vote past year, a move that sparked outrage and protests among many net neutrality supporters.

But net neutrality supporters prefer tougher rules over ISPs and Democrats in Congress opted to propose a Congressional Review Act vote to overturn the 2017 measure (the CRA is a quick way to nix newly-passed regulations within 60 legislative days of passage).

The FCC's move stirred opposition in Congress and in statehouses.

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