The good news is that the House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act by a vote of 232-190. The bad news is while Republicans said they too want to to protect net neutrality, only one Republican voted for the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump have already refused to support the act.
The Act is designed to reverse the decision by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, and Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, Republican FCC commissioners, to kill net neutrality.
If turned into law, the Act would once more forbid internet service providers (ISP) from paid prioritization, throttling, and blocking internet services. It’s really quite simple. It would undo the Pai’s FCC 2018 net neutrality repeal. It would also turn the revised rules into laws. This would make net neutrality the law of the land. The FCC would have to enforce the new rules, but it couldn’t change them.
To no surprise, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai immediately denounced the Act: “This legislation is a big-government solution in search of a problem. The Internet is free and open, while faster broadband is being deployed across America. This bill should not and will not become law.”
In Pai’s post-net-neutrality internet, while Pai’s FCC claims only 25 million Americans don’t have broadband internet, Microsoft found 162.8 million people — over half the US’s population — don’t have internet broadband speeds.
We’ve also already seen how when some ISPs claim to offer good deals by making some sites and services’ data access free or cheaper. In reality, we now know this concept, zero rating, actually increases ISP fees.
The vast majority of people and businesses want a return to net neutrality. According to a recent Comparitech poll, eighty percent of Americans say they support net neutrality. And, a rare thing these days, net neutrality has bipartisan support. 87 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans surveyed support net neutrality,
Some Republicans in government would like to see net neutrality come back too. They just disagree on how it should be done. Be that as it may, President Donald Trump has already indicated he’ll veto the bill should it make it to his desk. That’s unlikely.
True, in 2018, the Senate voted to revive net neutrality. The then Republican-dominated House killed it. This time around Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already declared the bill “dead on arrival in the Senate.”
You can, of course, contact your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the Save the Internet Act (S. 682). But, let’s get real. Even while an overwhelming number of citizens want net neutrality, the current Republican regime isn’t paying them any attention. Only by voting out net neutrality enemies in 2020 can it ever be saved.