FCC puts a date on net neutrality's tombstone ahead of Senate vote

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Advocates of the rule have argued that, absent federal regulations, the providers would create a multi-tiered "pay for play" system, prioritizing some content at the expense of others. The Act lets Congress overturn regulatory action with a simple majority, and you might recall it's what the GOP used to kill consumer broadband protections a year ago before they could take effect in March of 2017.

Under the CRA, the Senate is required to consider a resolution if 30 senators sign a petition forcing a vote. The CRA would roll back the agency's 2017 vote to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, rules which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld not once, but twice.

A petition filed by Senate Democrats on Wednesday will force the net neutrality vote in the chamber, where it has a good chance of passing, perhaps as narrowly as 50-49. "Millions of people have spoken out, many Senate leaders have listened, and now legislators must act by voting yes on this crucial measure". Still, this is now the best and the fastest way to preserve net neutrality.

As the nation waits for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to announce when new internet guidelines will go into place following the elimination of Obama-era net neutrality protections, members of the Senate are planning to take action against the decision.

The letter explains, "Users and businesses need certainty that they will not be blocked, throttled or charged extra fees by Internet service providers".

The CRA is a way of reversing rules recently instated by federal agencies that's simple and effective, though until this administration rarely used (but they made up for lost time, all right).

Battle For The Net, a net neutrality advocacy group, is organizing demonstrations in support of the Senate effort on Monday.

Net neutrality has become a major flashpoint with liberal activists and a broad swath of the online community saying the rules would prevent internet companies from slowing down or otherwise hindering access to some websites.

Public Knowledge opposes Chairman Pai's deeply troubling break with nearly 20 years of bipartisan FCC support for the Open Internet, and is also suing the FCC.

"It takes 218 House lawmakers to force a vote via discharge petition, and Republicans have a 236-193 majority-meaning more than a dozen Republicans would have to come on board in addition to every Democrat", Politico wrote.

"This is the fight for the internet", Massachusetts Democratic Sen. A list of Senators supporting the resolution can be seen in the image at the top of this story. But Trump's election swung the FCC to Republican control and it voted 3-2 along party lines in December to eliminate the rules.

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