US Senate saves net neutrality – for now

Republican rebels help Democrats block net neutrality repeal, but House could uphold FCC decision

The US Senate has today voted to save net neutrality rules, blocking Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back the Obama-era protections preventing companies from discriminating against certain types of internet traffic.

Today, senators voted to nullify the FCC's decision, with 52 in favour and 47 against. The decision has been celebrated by campaigners, but they have also warned that net neutrality is still in imminent danger.

Repealing net neutrality rules was one of Pai's primary objectives when he was appointed as chairman of the Commission by President Trump last year. The Commission approved Pai's plans to remove the regulations in December 2017, prompting outcry from internet freedoms groups.

Today the FCC's plans were overturned using powers granted by the Congressional Review Act (CRA) - legislation that allows Congress to roll back the decisions of federal agencies. The CRA also allowed Democratic senators the power to force a vote on the issue by gathering just 30 signatures.

In addition to every sitting Democrat senator, the motion to oppose the FCC's decision was supported by three Republican senators - Louisiana's John Kennedy, Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski.

However, while this is a victory for net neutrality advocates, it does not represent the end of the story.

In order to roll back Pai's plans permanently, campaigners will need to fight it in the House of Representatives, where the Republican party enjoys a much larger majority than it does in the Senate.

That means Republican politicians would likely need to break ranks for Democrats to score a win there.

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

Dish chooses VMware Telco Cloud platform to deploy 5G in US
Infrastructure

Dish chooses VMware Telco Cloud platform to deploy 5G in US

31 Jul 2020
The pros and cons of net neutrality
Business strategy

The pros and cons of net neutrality

13 May 2020
US appeals court won't reconsider Net Neutrality repeal
Network & Internet

US appeals court won't reconsider Net Neutrality repeal

7 Feb 2020

Most Popular

Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package
Google Android

Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package

18 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020