U.S. Senate votes to restore Net Neutrality (updated)

The Senate's final vote is in, with the official number being 52 - 47 in favor of restoring Net Neutrality! While this is an exciting and unexpected development, the battle to completely reverse FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's actions is far from over. The CRA will now go to the House of Representatives where Republicans currently hold the majority at 236 to 193. If it by some miracle passes through the House, it then needs to be approved by President Trump who will more than likely veto it. Net Neutrality still has a chance, but we're going to have to fight tooth and nail to make sure it sticks around.

In mid-December last year, the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality. That repeal will officially go into action on June 11, but not before the U.S. Senate votes to hopefully restore it.

On May 14, Democratic Senator Ed Markey announced that he and other fellow Democrats have pushed the U.S. Senate to vote on whether or not the FCC's repeal of Net Neutrality should be reversed. The vote will take place on Wednesday, May 16, and it's being done as part of a Congressional Review Act (also known as a CRA).

Commenting on the announcement, Senator Markey said:

By passing my CRA resolution to put net neutrality back on the books, we can send a clear message to American families that we support them, not the special interest agenda of President Trump and his broadband baron allies. May 16 will be the most important vote for the internet in the history of the Senate, and I call on my Republicans colleagues to join this movement and stand on the right side of digital history.

So far, 50 of the 100 Senators have said they'll vote to restore Net Neutrality (one of which is a Republican). Considering this and the fact that Republican Senator John McCain will be absent due to his current health conditions, there's a chance the Democrats could get the vote to go through.

If that happens, however, that doesn't necessarily mean Net Neutrality will once again be alive and well. After the Senate, the vote will then need to through the House of Representatives where Republicans have the majority of seats at 236 to 193. If it by some miracle gets through the House, there's still the chance that President Trump will veto it.

Even with those obstacles in mind, it's still somewhat reassuring to see that action is being taken to roll back FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's decision.

What do you expect will happen this Wednesday?

Net neutrality, consolidation, monopolies, and you

91 Comments
  • I don't see how this will pass the House unless there is a huge number of calls to Representatives from their constituents asking them to vote yes on reinstating net neutrality. At the very least, this will force a vote in both houses of Congress and then we can really see who these "politicians" decide to side with: the consumer or the telecom industry.
  • I'm in the camp the FCC overstepped its authority regardless of the whether net neutrality is good or not. We have a Congress for a reason and I will be more supportive of the policy if it comes from elected officials using constitutional procedures rather than unelected official fiat.
  • It is the fcc's obligation to enforce its rulings that is their job
  • Confused... so were you okay when the FCC an entity of its own implemented Net Neutrality, but not when the FCC overturned their decision for net neutrality? But, you would be okay with Congress reinstating net neutrality? I'm not a fan of Congress in general... because they exempt themselves from laws they don't like but force on the rest of us... Like insider trading (okay for Congress not for the rest of us.) and ObamaCare (exempted themselves and members of their staff)... You pass it... It should be forced on Congress as well. Government messes up a lot more than they fix... So I'm against a government takeover of the Internet business...
  • I won't support it at all, because it's Crony Capitalism. The last thing technology needs is more government intervention. They've already ****** over our healthcare system, the last thing we need them doing is ******* over the internet, too.
  • That's not what's happening.
  • You gotta should probably disable comments on this one. I see it going wrong very quickly.
  • Net neutrality is unnecessary in America with the free market. We should focus on stopping the government from spying on us against our will.
  • Something like the opposite of the the Cloud Act that the GOP passed. Something like the GDPR maybe? I don't think there is a free market for internet and cell services in North America.
  • If there is a free market, sure, I agree. I don't think there is a free market when it comes to being an ISP. At the very least the barrier to entry is way too high to create a free market.
  • like yea getting the ability to control what your customer will see on the web and choosing what you want him to see and possibly worst scenarios is so free as market and users get lots of it too :3
  • Net neutrality isn't necessarily a free market type issue: net neutrality forces ISP's to treat internet traffic equally and fairly, regardless of source or who the information is going to. Doing away with it will force businesses and consumers alike to pay for access to information. If it's information your ISP has deemed unbeneficial to their cause or bottom-line, then you're most likely going to have to pay for access to information- that's some late stage capitalism BS I want no part of. Addressing what I think you are going on about with the "free market" system: ISP's are going to do everything within the confines of the law to make as much money as possible. This means they are going to screw whoever they can (consumers), as long as it's within the confines of the law: The Free market SHOULD allow consumers multiple options and companies would battle it out for supremacy with that in mind. What they are doing instead is creating monopolies and crushing municipal broadband efforts so that consumers have no other choice but to stick with one ISP (who now has absolutely no incentive to improve their product or to offer better prices so that everybody can afford access). The fact is this: an individual cannot function or advance in today's society without having some sort of internet access. Citizens cannot strive to be as much as they can be, or have the freedom to pursue what ever path they choose if internet access is not accessible freely and easily. It is this very same reason that telephone access was classified as a utility: so that a basic societal necessity was available to all, not just those who could afford what could have become a luxury item. We don't grow as a people that way, only a small percentage does. Everybody should have the chance to advance in society, not just the privileged. That's the American dream (that, and a house with a white picket fence with an average of 2.2 children).
  • Like I said before I'd rather see law enforcement doing this then private corporations to sell your personal information they are selling your privacy
  • Let's forget the special interests behind net neutrality though
  • Good grief where do stupid morons like you come from. Another conservative who doesn't have a clue what net neutrality is or why it was enacted.
  • I am a conservative, and I think net neutrality should have stayed but changed.
  • Thank you for name calling. I'll gladly throw your opinion where it belongs, in the trash.
  • Throw his opinion wherever, doesn't change the fact that you're an imbecile.
  • You result to name calling every reply. It really shows your intelligence...
  • I'm just tired. I'm tired of arguing your government interfering on your behalf to protect your right to what is actually your right is a good thing; and I'm tired of arguing thousands of deaths per year for the *hobby* of gun ownership in the name of "protection" to actually benefit the gun makers is a bad thing. I am at the point where I don't care if someone finds my name calling "offensive" or anything.
  • How can anyone with a brain support anything these frauds want to pass?
  • Another idiot who doesn't know what net neutrality is and why it is a good thing. The frauds in this administration have already killed net neutrality giving AT&T and the like exactly what they want.
  • Did you know that AT&T wants the Net Neutrality restored? Get informed.
    The real reason behind the Net Neutrality is to keep the power to get their nose in our privacy,
    Without the Net Neutrality, if Verizon blocks me from using Directv Now because they are competition, what do you think is going to happen? I will throw Verizon thru a pipe going down.
    If AT&T blocks me to use Netflix because whatever, what do you think is going to happen? Bye Bye AT&T. Do you think they are stupid? We have and we should keep free market. If I don't like one company I will go with another one. That simple.
    Many are echoing some people of the media without really knowing what is behind.
  • You clearly have no idea what this even is.
  • Can you explain it clearly? I bet you don't know the real facts.
  • its no wonder he never explained it
  • Are we to believe per Senator Markey's statement that there are special interests on only one side of Net Neutrality? @Joe Maring: Why include "hopefully" in the opening paragraph? "...but not before the U.S. Senate votes to hopefully restore it." It leads me to consider that you are expressing your bias via intentional omission of anti net neutrality voices rather than excluding for journalistic expediency. Then again, maybe I should thank you for putting your bias out front.
  • Maybe you should educate yourself on what net neutrality is you conservative moron, or continue to remain stupid and ignorant.
  • Thanks for the response. I commend you on your ability to divine my views through that post and pose a convincing counter argument. Relax. I am not a conservative and I am fairly well read on net neutrality. I am concerned about the unintended consequences that may arise, and I think that some parts of Net Neutrality are unnecessary. I also don't think it will be the end of the world if it does pass. To me its, the government choosing the losers: ISPs vs the winners: companies who deliver the media through the ISPs pipes. Either way, more lobbying money will makes its way to DC. I believe that NN will regulate internet access as a public utility. Where I have lived dealing with a public utility has been just as bad as a monopoly. I suspect that NN is unnecessary, because as 5g ramps up, barriers to entry will decrease and competition will increase in most markets.
  • See while nearly everyone is saying Net neutrality is the best thing since sliced bread, I'm not buying it yet. I have done a ton of research on it and yes it has some good qualities but the unintended consequences I feel will be very high. I think competition is the answer. But like where I live there are only one or two ISPs. Net neutrality could hinder development according to some. And then the monopoly in the area is still there. And before I get a flood of replies I'm not against net neutrality either. Just also not for it.
  • You Capitalists need to chill. The term "competition" has been misused over and over by you people, creating all kinds of problems worldwide. It's just a facade. There is no competition against the 3 giant Internet businesses; they understand through strategy what to allow and what not to allow as the market tends to become an oligopoly or monopoly, with the bigger corporations always exerting power or buying any budding competitor outright. The term "competition" is used to fool simpletons into selling them a more often than not nonexistent idea and reap gigantic profits while at the same time controlling everything. It has been observed, time and time again, that fr basic utilities and needs required by humanity a socialist program is much preferred, healthcare being the prime example. Then you have colleges where students are buried in debt for trying to know more, and then you have access to information with net neutrality being the guardian of not allowing corporations do to information what they are doing to healthcare in America.
  • Glad you result to personal insults. Really proves your point. /sarcasm And capitalism works. just saying.
    BTW I'm not simpleton and will not come down to your level of maturity by name calling.
  • Lol socialized medicine is not sunshine and rainbows my friend
  • Compared to United States' hell, it's actually heaven itself.
  • I gotta say, your outburst claiming this poster as a conservative is disturbing. A little non tolerant to other people's Opinions are you? There is absolutely no way to fully distinguish a person's political beliefs based on this topic. I will tell you right off the bat there are pros and cons to both. It would likely (opinion not fact) allow ISP to generate more revenue thus advancing the infrastructure faster. It would also likely cost the consumer more. However there would be no stopping a competitive company from stealing customers with better packages and so forth. It's not all good on either side, however I enjoy my ISP speeds as of now and would like to not pay a higher price. However it's not to say that a company wouldn't take advantage of a lower price package with decent speed and data limit. Look at Verizon, they charge data limits and people hate it. I'm grandfathered into unlimited data still for av reasonable price but that is likely going away, as am I. Other carriers offer much better data plans for the price with damn nearthe same performance.
  • Pros and cons! Exactly! I'm tired of every site saying net neutrality is gonna solve everything and is great and blah blah. There's good and bad with it! But that doesn't fit their narrative
  • Both sides aren't equal, moron. If you're a consumer, you should be for net neutrality. You have instead decided to be a partisan shill. The majority of Republicans and Democrats are for net neutrality. The people you elect don't hold the same view.
  • Net Neutrality has nothing to do with the consumer. It has everything to do with big businesses getting government imposed monopolies. They say that they are doing it to protect the consumer when in fact it will remove any ability the consumer has at the free market. In the same way you do not have freedom over (power, water). I the 70's and 80's phone land line was like this an the costs was high and there was no freedom. So for all the talk about protecting the consumer if they want to go see Netflix vs. Comcast streaming vs. Hulu. Without Net Neutrality the two companies worked out an agreement so that the consumer could choose. Netflix and others did not like that part of that agreement was they (companies) had to spend more for the larger amounts of traffic they generated and in a attempt to get out of spending more, they went to the government to change it. So you have one people on one side and government and companies on the other (Streaming companies don't have to pay more for the increase traffic they generate and ISP get to have a monopoly) the government has more power to pick winners and losers for ISPs and Politicians get to have more ISP contributions to help them get those monopolies. The consumer what do we get a less control over our chose of ISP, we do not gain anything we did not already have i.e. I want to watch/visit this site over the one owned by my ISP.
  • Finally someone here who gets it: when government controls business, business will end up controlling government.
  • What I don't get or understand is how name calling HELP buttress one's argument. two or more people do not have to agree on a subject matter, one should simply state ones fact, educate if needed in clarifying your position and let fellow readers enjoy a civilized educative exchanges of knowledge and understanding. (Also, two wrongs does not make a right)
    Calling someone Moron does not improve anyone's' argument at all, neither does it educate on the said subject matter either. Note: You are not the only one that have used such language, as such this is to all those who have and other similar languages.
  • "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
    no thanks.
  • Agreed
  • They won't get the votes. Stop dreaming.
  • Thanks yet again for these articles Windows Central/Mobile Nations... glad to see you listen to your readers when they told you they didnt want to see them anynore. /sarcasm
  • When was that? I want to see them.
  • Why are you conservatives so cranky?
  • Wow I'm glad you know their political views. Great reply...
  • Who will save us from the nightmare that was the internet circa 2012?
  • It was so terrible! I lost family members and my hamster!
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (former and future AT&T CEO) is such and arrogant asswipe. He doesn't give a **** about people, but only about underhandedly letting companies rip people off. He's no difference than the Pharma czars that have been recently indicted and sent to prison.
  • They've already been caught throttling.
  • The US government is to give up control of the administration of the internet, handing over responsibility for the IP numbering network and domain name system (DNS) to the global community. Since 1998, under a contract with the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), DNS has been handled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation created for the purpose. When the Obama administration announced its plan to give up U.S. protection of the internet, it promised the United Nations would never take control. But because of the administration’s naiveté or arrogance, U.N. control is the likely result if the U.S. gives up internet stewardship as planned at midnight on Sept. 30. The Obama administration did in fact give up control of the Internet. That is where you will see censorship and other controls and not from net-neutrality. Net-neutrality is nothing more than goverment control and regulations which has NOTHING TO DO with stopping throttling or anything of that nature. Control and regulations will be what you see on you cell phone bill, cable bill, gas and eletric bills. You know those stupid charges on your bill like Broadcast TV Surcharge, Regulatory Video Cost Recovery Charge, Gross Receipts Tax, Local Communications Tax, State Communications Tax, Federal Universal Service Charge, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, 911 Service Fee, etc. That's what net-neutrality is NOT STOPPING throttling or anything else like that. Stop being naiveté and believing what the politicians and news what you believe.
  • I am encouraging my senators to remain fast in voting against this.
  • I'm doing the opposite 😉
  • Because you're a political hack.
  • To this day and age I'm not surprised how misinformed some people are or have become. I guess that stems from the fact some don't understand what "neutral" really means. Neutral, in this case simply means zero throttling of your internet connection. So ending internet neutrality (net neutrality) was a horrific event for people. As it allows telecoms to dictate how you use the internet connection YOU PAY every month to use. Given people in the US pay obscene amount of money for paltry speeds and data allowances, it's a even bigger issue. For example, soon I will be able to get access to symmetrical fibre 1 Gigabit upload and download with zero limits for £45 a month! I already pay £30 a month for 70 megbit download and 20 megbit upload with zero limits. My line can handle 80 down and 33 up. Think about that. There is one reason why you are paying through your nose for an internet connection - it's because in the US the internet is not classed as a utility.
  • So you think just because it has neutrality in the name then it is going to be so? We hand a War on Poverty act that once put in place as increased poverty faster then the past 150 years. We had a bill past that was called the affordable Health care act that once past increased health care like crazy. So what do you think this trend would lead too? Yes your internet sounds nice, but could it be even beter with a freemarket? Right now I pay a lot less than you do and I like it, but the only way I get the price I do is by calling up my isp and telling them I am leaving. I then get my bill lowered by 66% if I did not have that option I would be paying much, much more.
  • I only have one ISP in my area... not exactly a free market.
  • "not exactly a free market."
    All the more reason to LOWER the barriers to entry instead of placing a new massive bureaucracy in the way of innovation and investment.
  • Someone understands! Competition is the answer
  • I was not referring to bills or specific laws. Furthermore the name of the bills you mentioned are primary examples of misdirection. Goes to show much the republicans in the house and congress care about the average people. They had almost a decade of solid control and what have they really accomplished for the people?
  • >Neutral, in this case simply means zero throttling of your internet connection Yeah, no it didn't. If you're gonna complain about people not learning about a subject, make sure you learn about it.
  • Lol! What a comment! You are really a TechFreak.
    If my ISP "dictate how I use the internet connection", do you know what is going to happen? I will send them south thru a pipe and use a different company.
    I am already paying US$60 (£40) for 1 Gigabit up and down already, with no limits. I used to pay $40 (£29) for 100 Mbits. And you have to pay for telecom, sales, income taxes more than four times of what we pay here in US. What are you talking about?
  • Utility? When is the last time someone's electric bill went down due to free market competition or more advanced technology? I jest, of course. Look. I do understand the benefits of the ideal that net neutrality presents, but also understand its flaws. It's not a simple fairness doctrine.
  • NN is dead, leave it. Obama care was bad enough we don't need the obama internet as well.
  • What does the normal, current internet have to with him?
  • You're right, the massive public failure of government run healthcare has nothing to do with the proposed government run internet. Also the government run schools and banking failures, nothing in common what so ever. >.>
  • "Obamacare" wasn't government run healthcare, it was insurance. And as an aside, pretty much every other developed nation on the planet has proven that public healthcare works quite well, and they all cost the taxpayer less than the private system used by the US. Likewise, net neutrality isn't about regulating the internet. It's about regulating providers. Specifically, preventing them from screwing you. As much.
  • Lol! Did you say "they all cost the taxpayer less" for real? Do you know the income tax rate in EU? Three to five times of what you pay here in US. Do you really think that "public healthcare" is free?
  • I live in Britain, I'm well aware of how much tax we pay on Europe. But the amount of tax that is paid and the amount an individual service costs are not the same thing. Taxation pays for a lot more than just the healthcare system.
  • You pay all that extra money and you don't even get good service. Poor outcomes performance vs the US AND you have bed shortages, death panels and other rationing. Canada's free healcare was so wonderful their high court declared it a crime against humanity and FORCED the government to allow the creation of "Super Hospitals", or as we call them in the US, hospitals. This is exactly the level of service I DON'T want from my ISPs.
  • This is a great move by the GOP. It gives members in battle ground states something to show, that they do not always follow trump, without it having a chance at truely passing. It may help those in some states, keep there seats without doing damage to the country.
  • Dear Mobil Nation. Get some one that is a little more balanced for your political/items. Don't become the next cnet,cnn,Fox News.
  • Definitely an editorial. Problem with editorials is it can alienate the reader who feels differently. Get enough of that taste in your mouth and the reader may stop showing up. Mobilenations, please mark editorial articles like Jason Ward does for his. Thanks!
  • I don't think it'll matter much either way. Unlike other utilities the Internet is more a luxury, if they raise the price to much or try to pick what sites you can go to people will ditch it like other services.
  • Ditch it and go where?
    There's only one internet and not everyone has a choice of providers at that...
  • Ditch it and do without. If enough people decide to have it turned off the prices will go down. The consumer has more power than they realize.
  • One step at a time.
  • Just as I did with my senators, I am encouraging my representative to vote against it.
  • Make it clear that you want them to vote against repealing net neutrality, wouldn't want them to get confused. They're not the smartest bunch when it comes to science and technology. ;p
  • Very strange how Windows Central seems to have a pro Net Neutrality vibe on this article. If I wanted liberal politics I would just watch MSNBC. Personally I think with a Free Market we have no need for Net Neutrality. I am in favor of 5G networks and competition to drive innovation further and cut prices for all. Net Neutrality ruins this system and slows innovation.