WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The fight over net neutrality is not going away in Washington. Following the Federal Communication Commission’s vote to repeal certain internet regulations, a bipartisan group of senators is punching back. Mostly Democrats are signed onto an effort that would reverse the FCC’s decision. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) joined the crusade and says this is about keeping the internet free and open.
Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV) says small businesses could fall by the wayside without net neutrality.
The 2015 Obama era regulations prevented internet service providers from choosing how fast or slow internet traffic could travel. But it also put the internet under federal regulation for the first time.
“It can’t be throttled by those companies. It can’t be monetized in any way whatsoever that throttles it or limits access,” said Cortez Masto.
She and nearly 40 of her colleagues are hoping to force a vote to rollback the FCC’s decision. She says without net neutrality, rural areas will be negatively affected, education will be harmed and small businesses that don’t have enough capital to pay providers for faster service will fall by the wayside.
“That’s going to eliminate their competition in that marketplace and the bigger companies will come in and really limit the small companies from even getting started,” said Cortez Masto.
Others on Capitol Hill are sticking by the FCC’s decision on net neutrality. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says the repeal was necessary.
“Do I think that the FCC was right in rolling it back? Yes. Do I think that there is more that needs to be done? Yes,” said Murkowski.
Murkowski says for the sake of stakeholders and users there needs to be consistency in regulations. She says she wants bipartisan legislation crafted, rather than an effort to reverse the FCC’s action.
“ We need to provide for a level of certainty within the industry. That certainty comes through law,” said Murkowski.
To reverse the FCC’s decision will require approval of both houses of Congress and the President’s signature.