Internet Association swings momentum for Net Neutrality support


The Internet Association announced last week its stance regarding the issue of net neutrality, saying that it plans to intervene against the Federal Communication Commission's decision.

In December, the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of repealing Obama-era implemented net neutrality. Net neutrality barred internet service providers such as Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) from blocking, slowing down or even giving advantages to consumers. The FCC’s decision repeals the protection, allowing ISPs to have free reign over their services.

The Internet Association’s President and CEO, Michael Beckerman, released a statement regarding the FCC’s decision: “The final version of Chairman Pai’s rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers. This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet. IA intends to act as an intervenor in judicial action against this order and, along with our member companies, will continue our push to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality protections through a legislative solution.”

The IA is comprised of many public companies such as Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). The association also consists of private companies such as Lyft, Uber, Reddit, and Coinbase.

Many of these major companies fought for net neutrality, claiming that if it were to be repealed, it would hurt their businesses severely. Republican lawmakers argued that repealing net neutrality would be bring stronger growth to the economy and allow for a new age of digital growth.

Now, thirty Democrat senators have now signed to sponsor an amendment that would void the repeal, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts announced on Monday. This was the number of senators required to force a vote on the FCC’s decisions.

Markey calls the this move “a big step toward restoring a free and open Internet.”

No republicans have signed the resolution, meaning that it’s likely to be defeated in a floor vote. Even if Congress does approve the resolution, President Donald Trump will still stick by Ajit Pai, FCC’s current chairman, and move to veto it, according to Business Insider.

But a survey conducted by Mozilla last year showed that 76 percent of Americans supported net neutrality, 81 percent Democrats and 73 percent Republicans in favor. Then, as the FCC’s decision approached, a survey conducted by the University of Maryland showed that 83 percent of Americans supported net neutrality, including 75 percent of Republicans.

The IA is expected to be just one of the many advocacy groups fighting to file suits against the FCC’s decision, underscoring how the agency ignored the public and experts, ignored rampant comment fraud, and relied exclusively on telecom lobbying data, according to Motherboard.

After the FCC had refused New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman’s call to delay the vote due to the numerous amount of fake comments on the polls, many states began to join Schneidermann in their stance.

Schneiderman and the state of New York moved to sue the FCC for their decision, swinging the momentum into full speed. Other states such as California, Delaware, Virginia, Massachusetts and many others are moving to sue the FCC as well.

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