Push to reverse FCC rollback of net neutrality rules gets Senate boost

Demonstrators rally outside the Federal Communication Commission building to protest against the end of net neutrality rules

Ed Markey on Twitter: "A big step toward restoring a free and open Internet: with the support of @clairecmc, we now

A Senate bill to undo the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules will receive a floor vote after gaining its 30th co-sponsor.

That's significant because it's the number of senators needed to essentially force a vote on the FCC's move.

Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) then launched an effort to reverse the FCC's repeal via the Congressional Review Act.

Yesterday, the FCC published the order it voted on in December that rolls back the protections that help keep the Internet open and free.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was the latest senator to express support for the bill, which put the number of supporters above the procedural requirement to bypass committee approval. It seems that state legislators are starting to take matters of net neutrality into their own hands. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party. Net neutrality-the principal that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally and not block, throttle, or charge extra or access to it-has been vital to growth of the Internet. The CRA gives Congress the power to pass a "resolution of disapproval" to nullify new regulations within a 60-day window.

Although Democrats now have the votes to force the resolution to a vote in the Senate, they have much steeper barriers to getting it enacted.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting the widespread popularity of the net-neutrality rules.

While Democrats have reached a crucial threshold for bringing the bill to vote on the Senate floor, it's unlikely to pass since Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In a Statement announcing the advocacy group's intention to intervene in judicial action to preserve net neutrality protections, Internet Association (IA) President & CEO Michael Beckerman, suggested the FCC's "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" would gut net neutrality protections for consumers, start-ups, and other stakeholders.

Realize that if the net neutrality repeal succeeds certain websites will be blocked, access to certain websites will be slowed, and there will be a toll for access to certain types of content. To do that, the bill will regulate business practices and use net neutrality as a condition in state contracts, cable franchise agreements and agreements that let companies place wireless broadband equipment on utility poles, his office said in a statement.

On Friday, the Internet Association, a trade group representing online companies including Facebook and Google, said it planned to sign onto an expected lawsuit seeking to block the repeal through the courts.

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