Net Neutrality Survives Senate
Jamilah King, in a blog entry at ColorLines, checks in on the federal battle over net neutrality, which is of particular importance to communities of color because minorities are pivotal in driving broadband use. She warns that while the Senate recently voted against a resolution that would have essentially dismantled openness on the Internet, the fight is far from over.
On Thursday, the Senate voted against a resolution to do away with federal net neutrality rules that work to maintain openness on the Internet. The vote was just the latest episode in a long saga in which lawmakers, consumer advocates, and telecommunications companies position themselves to influence how communication will happen in the 21st century. And it's a battle with particular relevance to communities of color, many of which are simultaneously helping to drive broadband use despite often being among those most effected by its slow expansion.
The Republican-backed resolution failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate by a vote of 52-46. The new rules are currently set to take effect on November 20.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a set a fairly lukewarm net neutrality rules last December. In a contentious vote, the Commission passed rules that made it illegal for companies to slow or block Internet traffic for their users on home broadband connections. However, the rules were ominously silent on mobile broadband.
Yet companies and lawmakers have lobbied against even these tenuous reforms. After December’s vote to pass the rules, Republican lawmakers immediately vowed to either strip the FCC of its rule making ability or kill the net neutrality fight before the rules. In April, the Republican-controlled House voted 240-179 in favor of a measure the disapprove the new rules.
Read Jamilah King's entire blog entry at ColorLines.