Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Net Neutrality CRA un-repeal passes Senate; now House needs a "discharge petition", too

The Senate has voted today under the authority of the CRA to overturn the FCC “repeal” of Obama’s 2015 network neutrality rules, 52-47.  The AP story was carried here by WJLA. 

The attempt to reverse Ajit Pai’s “light touch” is likely to face a tough sell in the House. Ryan does not want to allow this to come up for a vote, so it needs a discharge petition first (so did the Senate).
Techcrunch has an explanation of how the discharge petition process will work, here. 

In practice, it really looks like tech companies will not be in a hurry to make major changes for a long time because of uncertainty, litigation threats, and a belief their consumers want most of what neutrality offers (which a few special exceptions).
Congress ought to be able to figure out that some specific kinds of preferred service (like for medical providers in emergencies) would not undermine consumer or small business use. 
FEE (Foundation for Economic Education, a libertarian group) pushed an article “Let’s end net neutrality once and for all in America” May 15, bad timing.  FEE says things were fine before 2015 with Obama’s rules, but companies may have been on their best behavior.

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