Net Neutrality Might Still Be Saved By The US Government In This Crucial Vote
9 January 2018, 12:02
USA! USA! USA!
In a nice, square legislative slap in the face to internet-hater and meme-mangler Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC, the US Congress has taken solid steps towards reversing his Commission's anti-net neutrality measures, which were passed with much backlash at the end of 2016.
If you want a quick and simple guide to what net neutrality is and why it is so vitally important to the internet and the world in general, check out this handy video guide:
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What is Congress doing?
The US Government has the ability to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decisions under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and many lawmakers are looking to do just that.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill that would reverse the FCC's decision to repeal almost every legal protection for net neutrality. Under the official rules, a bill of this nature can go straight to the floor be voted on, provided it receives 30 co-sponsors.
On Monday, that 30th co-sponsor arrived in the form of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), which means it will be voted on by the Senate.
If the bill passes and is then signed into law, it will nullify the FCC's anti-net neutrality vote and prevent the FCC from being able to pull such nonsense again in the future.
Things will kick into action once the FCC formally submits its new regulations to Congress for approval (they have no done that yet, hence the continued existence of net neutrality). Lawmakers will then have 60 legislative days to vote to stop the new measures.
As Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, it would seem that the bill does not have much chance of being passed. It is mostly Democrats trying to push against the FCC's measures, and President Trump has voiced his support of the FCC's moves.
However, the repeal of net neutrality is one of the few political issues on which the left and right to seem to agree, with the FCC's decision being hugely unpopular among Democrats and Republicans alike. So there is a chance, however slim, that Republican lawmakers will step up and vote to save net neutrality.