On Thursday the Senate Democrats blocked efforts by Republicans to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.
The efforts were not a direct attack on the rules but instead a procedural game designed to strip the FCC of its ability to regulate the Internet. Democrats like Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) spoke out passionately in defense of keeping the Internet open and free from corporate consolidation and control.
The rules passed last December are modest, but they are the first step in preventing companies from trying to slow down access to online services like Netflix or Skype that compete with their own offerings, charge premiums to some sites for faster delivery of their content or block sites altogether.
The final vote was 52-46 and broke strictly along party lines. Had Senate Democrats failed to block the measure President Obama pledged to veto any resolution challenging the net neutrality rules.
It was a victory that was only possible through an engaged public demanding its elected officials do the right thing, and the Care2.com community was a key part of this. So, congratulations! This is an important victory and a key step in keeping our Internet free and open. It also provides an opportunity to push for even stronger protections, so the fight is not over yet. But for now we should celebrate this win and thank Senate Democrats who voted against handing control of the Internet over to corporations.
Photo from dcmorton via flickr.