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US Senate will force too-little-too-late vote to save Net Neutrality

In a classic "day late, dollar short" scenario, the U.S. Senate will vote to save Net Neutrality this week. However, it would take a mighty miracle.

Published onMay 14, 2018

net neutrality
  • The U.S. Senate will vote this Wednesday on retracting the FCC decision to repeal Net Neutrality.
  • However, even if the vote passes the Senate, it is incredibly unlikely that it would pass the House…or Trump, for that matter.
  • As it now stands, there is every reason to believe that Net Neutrality will die on June 11, regardless of this vote.

Today, United States Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), in partnership with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), announced that the U.S. Senate would vote on May 16 to undo the repeal of Net Neutrality.

In December of last year, the FCC – led by President Trump-appointed Ajit Pai – voted to repeal the Obama-era rules colloquially known as Net Neutrality. These rules prevented internet service providers like Comcast from throttling service and limiting access to individual websites.

The official “death date” of Net Neutrality is set for June 11. With this vote happening a month before then, there is a possibility that Net Neutrality could be saved.

However, that outcome is highly unlikely, and this vote is really a too-little-too-late response from the U.S. Senate. Net Neutrality has been under fire since it was put into law in the first place, so the Senate had years to create a law to prevent its dismantling by the FCC. But it didn’t.

FCC officially repeals net neutrality rules: what now?

Now, in order for the FCC repeal to be overturned, the vote will have to pass the Senate, the House of Representatives, and finally the desk of Trump himself. While it’s possible that the Senate will pass the vote, it’s incredibly unlikely that the Republican-controlled House would as well. And, even if it did, it goes without question that Trump would veto it.

With that being said, I wouldn’t erase the June 11 death date of Net Neutrality from your calendar, as it will likely be killed no matter how the Senate votes.

Still, it is good to see the government finally understanding the seriousness of Net Neutrality and what it means for the public at large. It’s also good to see that the government representatives the people elected trying to make decisions for the benefit of the people. It doesn’t quite make sense that the five members of the FCC (who are not voted into their positions and do not have to take the public into account when it makes its decisions) are shaping the rules of the internet on behalf of all Americans.

But don’t think that this vote on May 16 is anything but a death throw for Net Neutrality. It would take a miracle for the vote to make any changes at all.

NEXT: Oregon joins states trying to pass Net Neutrality legislation

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