While the majority of Democrats are for retaining net neutrality and Republicans err more towards repealing the rules, the issue is not totally clear-cut across party lines and general consumer sentiment in the states is also moving against the FCC.
But most Republicans opposed the effort, saying the regulations were potentially too onerous and that Democrats were trying to use the issue for partisan gains in November. "And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11".
That was evident Wednesday as Democrats paraded to the Senate floor to give speeches in support of Net neutrality while most Republicans were silent on the matter.
But, for now, net neutrality lives.
Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., right, and other Democratic congressmen, speak at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, after the Senate passes a resolution to reverse the FCC decision to end net neutrality. The potential full support of all Democrats would still see the need for 22 Republicans to agree in order for this to happen, which many U.S. analysts view as a tall order.
They were Susan Collins (R-ME), John Kennedy (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The net neutrality rules, approved by the same organization two years earlier, prohibited internet service providers - such as Comcast and Verizon - from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.
Lobbyists tried to convince senators that net neutrality rules aren't needed "because ISPs will self-regulate", and that blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are just hypothetical harms, Markey said.
The regulations are strongly supported by liberals and online companies including Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google, and dozens of smaller Web-based companies. Democrats think the fight to restore the rules could be a political victor during November's congressional midterm elections even if the effort is unsuccessful, as it will force Republicans to record a vote against reinstating the rules. If an internet service provider which is owned by a conglomerate decides to absorb an exchange then without net neutrality they can charge users extra and or toggle down speeds to access exchanges in competition with their own.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) denounced the measure as a grandstanding manoeuvre that gets in the way of a bipartisan net neutrality remedy.
Information for this article was contributed by Frank E. Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.