Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality

May 16, 2018

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 52 to 47 to restore Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.   

The measure, supported by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, was backed by all 47 Democratic senators, along with three Republicans and the chamber’s two Independents. 

The rules, known as net neutrality, were initially adopted by the FCC under the Obama administration but were repealed by the newly Republican-controlled commission in the aftermath of President Trump’s election. 

The resolution approved by the Senate would reverse the FCC’s rollback of the rules, which are set to expire on June 11.  

“The American public understands how important these protections are to their lives and the future of the internet,” Nelson said on the senate floor before the vote.  “They do not want to have their websites blocked or internet accessed slowed.  And, they certainly don’t want their internet providers making those decisions.”

The vote is seen as a victory for consumer groups and small businesses that argued that the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality would ultimately result in internet service providers charging extra to access some online content or have websites load faster.  

The resolution now heads to the House of Representatives.