The Associated Press

Democratic Senators Call for Vote to Restore Net Neutrality

Senate Democrats filed a petition Wednesday to force a vote to restore Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that the Federal Communications Commission repealed late last year.

The petition, signed by every democratic Senators and Republican Sen. Susan Collins, called for one more vote on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore the rules that meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey said Wednesday that a vote on the CRA is needed to ensure that "Americans aren't subject to higher prices, slower internet traffic or blocked websites."

One more Senate vote is needed but if Sen. John McCain, a Republican who is currently home in Arizona battling brain cancer, is not present for the vote, a 50-49 decision would send the vote to the House, NBC News reported.

With Republicans in the majority, 236-193, in the House, the resolution is unlikely to pass, and even if it does, it would still need President Donald Trump’s signature.

The push to eliminate net neutrality has stirred fears among consumer advocates, Democrats, many web companies and ordinary Americans afraid that the cable and phone giants will be able to control what people see and do online.

Such things have happened before. In 2007, for example, The Associated Press found that Comcast was blocking or throttling some file-sharing. And AT&T blocked Skype and other internet calling services on the iPhone until 2009.

But the broadband industry has promised that the internet experience for the public isn't going to change.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in December that the repeal was "restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence."

Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal.

Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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