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Activists Attempt Last-Minute Effort to Save Net Neutrality

But their chances of getting the FCC repeal overturned remain slim.

fccdotgov/Flickrfccdotgov/FlickrToday, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of Obama-era "net neutrality" regulations goes into effect. Critics of the repeal, passed in December, claim that these regulations were necessary to prevent abuse to consumers by big internet service providers such as as Comcast and Verizon.

Proponents of net neutrality quickly mobilized for the overturn of the FCC's repeal, and last month, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would scrap the FCC's decision and retain net neutrality rules. The measure passed the Senate by a 52-47 margin with Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) voting with Democrats to pass the measure.

Activists are hoping for a similar outcome in the House of Representatives, utilizing a process known as the discharge petition to pass the House's version of the Senate's resolution. In most circumstances, a bill does not reach the floor of the House of Representatives until voted out of the committee in which it was assigned. But a discharge petition lets a bill get to the full floor faster by bypassing the committee process.

A discharge petition requires a total of 218 signatures from House members. As of last week, 170 expressed their support.

A statement by the pro net-neutrality group Fight for the Future declared: "June 11th will serve as the kick-off for intense campaigning focused on House lawmakers, who will be under tremendous pressure to support the [net neturality measure] ahead of the midterm elections, given that voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support restoring these rules."

Supporters of the FCC measure, such as Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), are confident that any effects on the upcoming midterm elections will be minimal. "The fact of the matter is nothing is going to change," Thune told Reuters after the Senate's vote. "I don't know how that animates people to vote if their Netflix is working."

A coalition of pro net-neutrality organizations has named Monday, June 11, as "Neutrality Action Day," and they're encouraging members to spread their messages on social media and contact their local representatives in the House.

Yet in spite of these mobilization efforts, their chances of getting the FCC measure overturned remain slim. Even if the bill passes the House of Representatives, it heads to the White House where chances are nearly impossible that President Trump signs the resolution eliminating the first major act of deregulation of his administration.

Photo Credit: fccdotgov/Flickr

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  • albo||

    As Cory Doctorow weeps Canadian-bacon-flavored tears...

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Pandering for "net neutraility" is a perfect example of how bankrupt the proggies' moral are.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you aren't willing to fight for carbon neutral fishing nets, then it sounds like you're not willing to fight for anything.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I'm willing to fight for carbon neutral fishing net holes, or carbon-organism-hugging fishnets. But not carbon neutral donut holes.

  • Sevo||

    Wha' do we want?!
    WE WANT PRICE FIXING!!!
    When do we want it?!
    WE WANT IT NOW!!!

  • albo||

    Unelected bureaucrats unaccountable to the voters or anybody else for their actions are the most trustworthy individuals to set rules and prices because they are totally apolitical and only want what is best for Internet users. I firmly believe this with all of my heart

  • Sevo||

    You should be careful; some of the commenters here have claimed that as a sincere argument...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bring back Ma Bell! Only she can ensure universal service, locking in today's bandwidth for decades.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I was at a conference once. The big speaker was an old Bell Labs researcher. And a good portion of her talk was straight up maligning the loss of the AT&T monopoly because Bell labs got gutted hard after they no longer had monopoly levels of income to fund randoms hit with.

    It was infuriating, but I fear most of the audience did not think the same.

  • DajjaI||

    Great. My favorite 'mission critical' sites are running slow and I have no one to call.

  • Brandybuck||

    99.97% of people demanding Net Neutrality have no idea what it actually means. To them it's just about siding with "good" corporations against the "bad" corporations.

    Hell, even I don't know what "net neutrality" means anymore because the the definition keeps changing. It used to be about how routers treated packets on the backbone, but today it seems to mean that the government must regulated the last mile.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's so idiotic and short-sighted. We got here despite the government, not because of it.

  • Citizen X||

    Oh yeah? Well, DARPA invented the Internet and DARPA is the government, so any amount or type of government involvement in the Internet is a good thing! - an actual argument a guy i knew made

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If the military did it, then I agree.

  • Brandybuck||

    Except DARPA actually contracted it. Which is why it has a design that no only solves the stated problem by does it in a way that doesn't actually require the government in any way. Because DARPA was about thinking outside the box. It was one of the few government organizations that understood that government doesn't create anything. It all seems to quaint looking back.

    p.s. The American episodes about stealing the ARPANET were funny. And I suspect deliberately so. The whole idea of a computer network was so foreign to bolshie bureaucrats that they never considered just enrolling someone in an American university to get access. Nothing top secret ever went through ARPANET anyway.

  • Rhywun||

    Reminds me of a fun scene in Deutschland 83 where the Stasi agents got hold of an American floppy disk but they couldn't fit into their crap computer disk drives which took only the dinner-plate sized disks.

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Net Neutrality originally meant protecting open competition on the Internet, it had nothing to do with consumer protections, or Comcast can't charge this or that, or anything of the sort. These "activists" have completely redefined the term

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Except they don't know what the definition was, or what their new definition is, so they keep changing it. Their current definition seems to be more of the not-Trump variety.

  • Brandybuck||

    The original definition was about equal access of all packets. Which sounded nice on paper but was rather silly if you were in the industry. Higher priority packets were already a thing (hospitals, emergency, etc), and companies already paid for what they used via reciprocal agreements. The idea that a company could suddenly block a competitor's packets through their nodes was silly. Routers should just route around those nodes. And they still can!

    The only reason Net Neutrality is back is because a few large content providers want their packets to flow for free. And it's all about the streaming. People didn't care about this until the spectre of having to pay more for their Game of Thrones pr0n reared its ugly head.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Today, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of Obama-era "net neutrality" regulations goes into effect.

    The Internet has been working all day so I don't think this is true.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I haven't seen a single post from Tony today. I fear that this is the impact we all knew was coming.

  • juris imprudent||

    So his neighbors changed the Wi-Fi password?

  • General Skarr's Prize Petunias||

    I'm here! I'm still here!

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Yeah, just wait till you get the bill for posting all those characters now that phone regulations aren't being used on the internet.

  • DenverJ||

    My internet isn't working.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Net Neutrality needs a special exemption for hate content and Russian trolls!

  • esteve7||

    When they want an open internet, the progs are lying, like always. When they talk about how comcast could restrict your access to news sites and other sites, they are projecting, because that is what these little fucking tyrants want to do themselves.

  • Brandybuck||

    Comcast is evil corporation, Netflix and Google are "good" corporations. That's all there is to it.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    The FCC made 4 million off a single nipple. How dare you deny them the windfall of going after all the nipples on all the porn sites! Net Neutrality must be restored!

  • Bubba Jones||

    "I don't know how that animates people to vote if their Netflix is working."

    LMAO

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    A statement and a question:

    In the many years that I had comcast prior to 2015 (perhaps 12?), my monthly bill went from $53 to $65.

    After Title II was put into play, my bill has increased from $65 to $90.

    In all fairness I started at .5Mbs and around 2015 was at 25Mbs. Since 2015 I've climbed to somewhere approaching and possibly exceeding 100Mbs.

    The question: Is this similar to other peoples experience with ISP's?

    Honestly, I'm pretty happy with Comcast in general, though I suspect if they had competition the price would be dropping, not increasing.

  • thesafesurfer||

    Good riddance to federal government regulation of the Internet under the charade of Net Neutrality!!!
    The great part of it all is NONE of the predictions from the lunatic left will occur, and that alone will completely discredit their arguments on the topic.

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