Culture&Arts

Net neutrality ruling will hurt small businesses

Net neutrality ruling will hurt small businesses

Trump's FCC commissioners have tried to protect their friends in Big Telecom by forbidding states from passing their own net neutrality rules.

The move comes a month after the FCC voted to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote across party lines led by chairman Ajit Pai. The pro-net neutrality group Fight for the Future said last week it plans to rally opposition to any lawmaker who votes against the act.

Thirty senators have now signed on to cosponsor a resolution that would nullify the repeal, MA senator Ed Markey announced Monday on Twitter.

But net neutrality backers have argued that clear rules are needed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling services or websites for competitive reasons, and that the rollback would increase the power of a few dominant providers to control what users see online. The sponsors for the resolution include 29 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with the Democrats. According to the act, only a simple majority of 50 votes is required to get past the Senate.

In another episode of the California vs. Donald Trump saga, Democratic state lawmakers are promoting legislation to preserve equal internet access in defiance of a recent federal ruling. The resolution needs all Democratic senators, and two Republicans, to vote in favor of it to pass.




Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting that the net neutrality rules are widely popular. By forcing a floor vote on the resolution to nullify the repeal, supporters of net neutrality could make Republican legislators go on record about whether they support net neutrality or not, something that could be used as a campaign issue in this fall's mid-term elections.

Amid the harsh criticism of the repeal from consumer groups including Free Press, Pai on Wednesday pulled out of a planned appearance at this week's CES tech industry convention after reportedly receiving death threats.

There appears to be nothing important in the document that wasn't in drafts published earlier (although a full analysis will take time) - but it nonetheless sparked [PDF] Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to say that the decision puts the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public".

The lobby group for some of the most powerful U.S. tech firms said it would join the legal challenge to the planned rollback of "net neutrality" rules requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally.


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