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US Senate rejects attempt to thwart net neutrality

updated 01:00 pm EST, Thu November 10, 2011

Senate votes just slightly in favor of neutrality

The US Senate on Thursday rejected a Congress-backed bill to overturn net neutrality rules. Politicians voted 52 against, 46 for SJ Resolution 6, which would have rejected the order taking effect on November 20. The measure had been promoted mostly by Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison and by fellow party members.

A successful vote was unlikely to have gone forward. The White House had issued a statement saying it would veto any bill, saying that a rejection of any net neutrality laws would undermine the open Internet.

Republicans have objected to any regulation of the Internet and have largely sided with carriers, which want the freedom to block and slow down competing services on their networks. They have also insisted that the FCC needed Congressional approval to implement any of the changes.

In putting forward net neutrality rules, the FCC argued that new Internet services needed protection to make sure they could compete fairly in the market. It has also pointed to existing clauses that it says grant the authority to make changes without overstepping its bounds.

Some advocates believe the regulations don't go far enough, as the FCC deliberately left out in wireless terms from wired service that would prevent carriers from slowing access down. Agency officials have claimed that the newness of 3G and 4G networks, along with the reduced bandwidth on wireless, means carriers might need or want to slow down certain kinds of apps.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. ojfltx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The solution is not heavy handed regulation

    Anyone who has followed telecomm knows that the solution is not heavy handed government regulation but rather competition. Make competition stronger and products and services will get more plentiful and better. Is that not how they solved the problem of Ma Bell?

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thank you Senate

    The Republican run House of Representatives have shown how they are only looking out for corporations and have little regard to the average citizen. This is an important victory for equality and access to the internet.

  1. chas_m



    Once again

    The Republicans have shown that, as a party, they DO NOT have America's best interests at heart. Something to keep in mind next November.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad news

    That's bad news. It means that everyone with broadband gets stuck covering the added costs created by a few high-bandwidth users. I don't want net neutrality. I want my too-high Comcast bill to come down.

    Three cheers for the House Republicans for giving this a try. Maybe we can get it through after the 2012 elections.

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: bad news

    Yes, allowing the broadband companies to selectively throttle service to customers without them knowing or throttling services of competitors is much preferred to simply having usage caps that have nothing to do with net neutrality.

    And we all know that the first thing corporations do when they cut costs and generate a surplus is to immediately reduce the prices they charge because they want our bills to be lower as a result of all of the competition in the marketplace. Competition has worked so well over the past 20 years that my cable bill just keeps getting lower and lower.

    Thank goodness for people who fight for the rights of corporations because it will always result in a better outcome than what the government or its regulations can provide (e.g. Enron, British Petroleum Corrections Corp. of America - Idaho Correctional Center, American car companies, American airline companies).

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