States dig their heels in over FCC's net neutrality reversal

Ed Markey on Twitter:

With McCaskill and Booker co-sponsoring Markey's resolution, that leaves 17 Senate Democrats-along with Angus King (I-Maine)-who have yet to make a commitment to defend net neutrality (see list below).

The news comes as the Internet Association (IA) announces its plans to join the legal appeal against the net neutrality repeal by the FCC.

In his tweet, Markey called reaching the 30-senator plateau "a big step toward restoring a free and open internet".

Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill was the 30th cosponsor to sign on today and also promoted the news on her Twitter account.

Morfeld said the idea of reintroducing net neutrality rules at the state level received support from across the political spectrum.

Over in Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders hasn't made any official moves just yet, but like Senator Bennet, his position is clear. Net neutrality-the principal that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally and not block, throttle, or charge extra or access to it-has been vital to growth of the Internet. Given that Republicans have nearly unanimously supported the FCC's new rules, the prospects for the CRA are dim.

Though Democrats now have enough support to force the resolution to a vote in the Senate, they have much steeper barriers to getting it adopted. Even if a majority of the Senate voted to reverse the FCC's decision and reinstate the rules, it still would need a majority of the House, as well as President Donald Trump's signature.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting the widespread popularity of the net-neutrality rules. A University of Maryland poll last month found they were supported by 83% of Americans, including 75% of Republicans. "Without strong net neutrality rules, there's nothing to stop the companies that already monopolize the internet from blocking websites or information altogether, so if the Trump Administration won't protect consumers - the State of California will".

But fear not-there are a number of other ways people are fighting the end of net neutrality, from lawsuits to local legislation. The GOP-controlled FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to repeal the Title II provisions classifying ISPs as utilities. At a conference past year in California, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said while net neutrality is "incredibly important", it's no longer "narrowly important to us because we're big enough to get the deals we want".

The Nebraska Telecommunications Association, which said it would study Morfeld's bill before taking a position on it, circulated a white paper among its 30 member companies a year ago describing the 2015 rules as trying "to fit a square peg in a round hole".

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