The Senate has spoken! Net neutrality is here to stay, at least for a while.
On Wednesday, US Senators voted 52 to 47 to stop the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from repealing net neutrality.
The vote showed that the Senators are keen on retaining the rules that prevented internet providers from slowing down or even blocking their users’ access to websites. It also helps protect customers from extra charges that internet providers may impose to speed up content delivery.
Net neutrality was implemented three years ago under the administration of former President Barack Obama. After his term ended and a new President was named, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality.
So when three Republicans joined the vote of the 49 Democrats today, it came as a shock to many who were thinking otherwise. The three Republicans include John Kennedy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Despite today’s victory, it looks like the battle is far from over. The next step still lies with the House where GOP leaders will have to be taking matters into their own hands. There’s no certainty this will be the case, as of the moment.
But even if Congress gives the legislation a clearance, it will still need to be signed by President Donald Trump for it to go into law. And ever since, President Trump has been very critical of net neutrality.
The argument of Democrats is that net neutrality is needed to ensure an equal treatment of all internet content. Without net neutrality in place, consumers may end up paying a higher price for slower service. There is also the threat that certain websites or apps may not be accessed.
To this, Republicans refute that the rules of net neutrality are heavy-handed and are an example of overregulation by the government. They believe this issue is being used by Democrats to gain the attention of the younger voting public.
Of course, this is a claim that Democrats have since denied.
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