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Obama gets to keep his net neutrality rules

GOP defeated for now, but the fight goes on

Technology trends and news by Ane Howard
November 10, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/215f

The Senate's attempt to overthrow President Obama's Open Internet Order failed on Thursday.

"The open Internet is essential for American jobs & society. Glad to see the Senate reaffirm balanced #netneutrality rules," the President tweeted from his Twitter feed @whitehouse.

The Senate closely overturned Thursday a “resolution of disapproval ” brought to the floor by Senator Hutchison, R-Texas, and 42 co-sponsors.  As reported on Wednesday, Hutchinson's resolution was aimed at overturning new Federal Communication Commission net neutrality rules, presented by Obama in December 2010. The new Federal Communication Commission net neutrality rules are set to go into effect Nov. 20.

The resolution was on the floor for discussion on Wednesday with President Obama threatening to veto it, if it were to pass on Thursday.  The White House released a statement on Tuesday explaining its position against any changes to the bill as a threat to innovation, saying that it would " undermine a fundamental part of the Nation’s Open Internet and innovation strategy – an enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open."

The vote was close, with the Republican-held House of Representatives voting 241-178, with 13 abstentions, against the FCC's rules last spring.

"Today's vote is a win for consumers and businesses. Since its adoption in 2010, the Commission's open Internet framework has brought certainty and predictability, stimulating increased innovation and investment across the broadband economy, including in mobile networks and apps. ... Any effort to disrupt or unsettle that certainty, which has been widely supported by industry, will only undermine innovation and investment in this space," said the FCC via a statement.

The FCC was established in 1934 to regulate telecommunications in America. 

Opponents of the FCC rules have described them as overburdening government intervention, that's trying to "fix what isn't broken," said Hutchinson on Tuesday.

But the fight does not end here. Advocacy groups are watching.  And so are big businesses. 

'In the months to come, the Free Press Action Fund will push the FCC to make its Open Internet rules much stronger — even if that means going to court, where we are suing the agency for failing to protect all Internet users," said Freepress, a coalition of consumer groups that has been watching these debates closely.

Verizon is already suing the FCC, and as reported earlier, rejected NARAL Pro-Choice America’s request to send text messages over its network, claiming them to be “unsavory” and “controversial.” 

(big image:InternetFriends)

(Main image: twitter)

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