Internet giants back Senate effort to reinstate net neutrality rules

Internet giants back Senate effort to reinstate net neutrality rules
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A trade group representing internet giants including Google and Facebook is throwing its support behind a bill that would reverse the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules.

The Internet Association (IA) on Thursday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBudowsky: Pelosi can break shutdown stalemate GOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCongress: Americans in Puerto Rico still need our help Airbnb is doing the Democrats' dirty work Protecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) arguing that the FCC rules should be reinstated.

“Strong net neutrality rules are necessitated by, among other factors, the lack of competition in the broadband service market,” Michael Beckerman, the group’s CEO, wrote. “More than half of all Americans have no choice in their provider, and 87 percent of rural Americans have no choice.”

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A Senate bill that would overturn the FCC’s December decision has nearly enough support to pass the chamber. Every Democrat and one Republican have announced their support for the bill, meaning that it needs just one more GOP senator to put it over the top. Democrats have promised to force a vote.

IA said while they support the legislation, they are also calling on lawmakers to codify the net neutrality rules into law with a bipartisan bill.

Some net neutrality supporters oppose any attempts at legislation out of fear that it would fall short of the Obama-era FCC protections, while Republicans and many in the private sector argue that it would help avoid the uncertainty brought by the back-and-forth at the FCC.

“The time has come for a bipartisan effort to establish permanent net neutrality rules for consumers, startups, established internet businesses, and internet service providers,” Beckerman wrote.