What's up with Net Neutrality? An update on the battle of the Internet.

By Alexis Alex

 FCC Commissioners. Photo via fcc.gov

FCC Commissioners. Photo via fcc.gov

By now, we have all heard about the Federal Communication Commissions vote to reverse net neutrality rules that essentially stopped internet service providers  from blocking websites and charging extra for certain content. The FCC vote was made back in December among party lines to reverse the Obama - era policies introduced in 2015. Although the new rules have not taken effect yet, Democrats have banned together to fight the FCC's repeal. On Tuesday, 22 state attorneys filed a suit against the FCC repeal stating their decision was "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion." The attorneys are stating this goes against the FCC's longstanding policy that prevents internet service providers from blocking or charging websites for delivery of content to their consumers. The states that signed onto the lawsuit include Maryland, New York,  Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon, California and the District of Columbia.  All of the attorney generals involved in the suit are Democrats. The attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, who led the suit stated, “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers — allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online.”

Also, Senate Democrats have announced they have the backing of all 49 members of their caucus and one Republican senator's support to overturn the FCC's ruling and restore net neutrality rules, leaving them just one vote short of the majority. The Democrats needs 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican controlled Senate. But, even if the Democrats do win a majority in the Senate, a successful repeal would also require a majority vote in the House of Representatives where the Republicans hold a greater majority and a scenario where Trump does not veto the repeal. Trump has publically supported the FCC's decision and he personally appointed the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who is also a Republican. Therefore, it is a longshot that the Democrats would be able to successfully repeal the FCC's ruling but other legislative entities are doing their part to stop the FCC from destroying net neutrality. So, what can you do?

You can make it known that you are in support of the reversal of net neutrality repeal, the easiest way to do so is by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. When you call, give them your name and say where you're from, and you'll get connected to your senator or representative's office.

Although the odds are stacked against repealing the FCC's ruling, you can still do your part! 

Alexis AlexComment