The Internet Association (IA), an American political lobbying group that includes such internet giants as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and eBay, has continued to pile the pressure on the United States Senate to reverse the FCC’s controversial vote on net neutrality repeal, back in December 2017. In an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,and Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the IA argues that a free and open internet is to the benefit of all users, and that the net neutrality rules need to stay in place to combat the ruthless monopoly held by broadband providers in many areas.
“Americans rely on and deserve the lasting certainty of an open internet enshrined in the U.S. Code. Strong net neutrality rules are necessitated by, among other factors, the lack of competition in the broadband service market,” said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of the IA. “More than half of all Americans have no choice in their provider, and 87 percent of rural Americans have no choice. The CRA [Congressional Review Act] is an important step in solidifying open internet protections.”
The strong opposition to the FCC’s ruling has been overt and plentiful, with challenges coming not only from pressure groups, but from legal challenges by state attorneys general, and direct challenges from individual states that are seeking to set their own rules regarding net neutrality. The legal challenges against the vote recently took new ground as the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed to look into the claims that millions of American citizens had been fraudulently impersonated during the FCC’s public opinion gathering.
It seems that the FCC may also face severe threats from within the Senate as well, as The Hill reports that a bill to overturn the FCC’s decision has garnered the support of the entire Democratic party and a single Republican senator. This means that only one more Republican senator is needed to push the bill through.
While the IA supports these attempts, it also wishes for net neutrality to become codified into law, establishing permanent protections that would be resistant to any shift in opinion at the FCC, saying that “the time has come for a bipartisan effort to establish permanent net neutrality rules for consumers, startups, established internet businesses, and internet service providers.”