The battle for control of the internet is on again.
A petition was filed yesterday in the Senate that will force a vote, May 9, on Sen. Edward Markey’s Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which would “put strong net neutrality rules back on the books.”
“The CRA resolution would fully restore the rules that ensure Americans are not subject to higher prices, slower internet speeds and even blocked sites because the big internet service providers want to pump up their profits,” Markey said at a press conference yesterday.
The CRA has support from 50 senators, including Republican Susan Collins from Maine. It needs one more Republican to vote yes to pass. A number of Republican have shown an interest in supporting the measure, according to Markey.
“The battle to save Net Neutrality is entering the final historic stretch in the Senate,” Markey said. “This is a fight for the most powerful platform for commerce and communications in the history of the planet, the internet.This is a fight for the American economy, which has thrived because of Net Neutrality.”
Introduced on Feb. 27, Senate Joint Resolution 52 “nullifies the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom.” The rule published on February 22, 2018: (1) restores the classification of broadband Internet access service as a lightly-regulated “information service”; (2) reinstates private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service; (3) requires Internet service providers to disclose information about their network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of service; and (4) eliminates the Internet Conduct Standard and the bright-line rules.”
In a carefully worded statement CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, opposed the CRA, but seemed to believe some other congressional remedy is needed. “CTIA and our members support the Open Internet,” she said. “We believe a better way forward than the CRA would be to establish permanent bipartisan rules to protect Americans online, while maintaining the regulatory framework that allowed the Internet to flourish.”
The Telecommunications Industry Association also called for bipartisan regulation to keep the internet free and open, as opposed to returning the Net Neutrality.
“Simply passing a CRA will be take us back to a flawed regulatory regime for the internet and perpetuate the unproductive partisan fight that has been raging on this issue,” TIA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Cinnamon Rogers said in a prepared statement. “Those on both sides of the debate over the FCC’s action share widespread agreement that Congress should enact bipartisan legislation that addresses this issue once and for all.”
Companion legislation to overrule the FCC’s order repealing Net Neutrality has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, has 160 cosponsors.
Congressman Doyle said, “I think grassroots pressure on Congress to support this bill will continue to grow until the public gets what it wants – an end to special interest efforts to kill Net Neutrality.”
J. Sharpe Smith
J. Sharpe Smith joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence. Sharpe Smith may be contacted at: [email protected]