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Net neutrality vote in Congress today (May 16)

Posted: May 16th '18, 05:10
by The Man
I don’t plan to make a habit of posting about politics here, but, since we obviously all use the Internet, I presume we all care about preserving it. There’s a crucial vote coming up today (well, tomorrow if you’re in the Mountain Time Zone or later), and I’d encourage any U.S. citizens here to contact their representative & senators and tell them to preserve the Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which does yeoman’s work on this kind of thing, has posted some links that can assist people with determining their Congresscritters’ stances & contacting them. Phone calls seem to have a much larger effect on this kind of thing than emails, but as a person who gets nervous talking on the phone in the best of circumstances, I must stress that emails are still much better than nothing.

If net neutrality is gutted, things might end up looking like Portugal’s internet for everyone: the Internet would be split into “packages”, and almost everyone would probably end up having to pay more. Small websites like this, in particular, might end up falling largely or entirely by the wayside, as they’d be inaccessible or incredibly slow for many users. Today’s vote seems fairly crucial for preserving net neutrality; I believe there’s a potential of court challenges if it doesn’t pass, but I don’t know if they’d be able to stop the FCC’s proposed changes from going into effect; it might be a “restore it after the fact” thing. And that would suck.

Thanks in advance to anyone who makes calls/sends emails/etc.

Re: Net neutrality vote in Congress today (May 16)

Posted: May 17th '18, 02:30
by philtron
Good on you.

Re: Net neutrality vote in Congress today (May 16)

Posted: May 17th '18, 06:37
by Pfhorrest
it passed

Re: Net neutrality vote in Congress today (May 16)

Posted: May 17th '18, 18:47
by The Man
philtron wrote:Good on you.
Pfhorrest wrote:it passed
Yep, it passed in the Senate, which was the first hurdle. There was a staggering influx of phone calls; incomprehensibly, pro-net neutrality calls are reported to have outnumbered anti-net neutrality calls by a ratio of thousands to one. I haven’t been able to take a second source confirming this, so take it with a grain of salt, but it’s mind-blowing to me if true; polling indicates that around 86% of Americans support net neutrality, which is still an unusual amount of consensus to find on any political issue these days, but I didn’t expect the ratio of calls to be that lopsided. Senators Collins (R-ME), Kennedy (R-LA), and Murkowski (R-AK) wound up joining all 49 Senate Democrats in voting for the bill, resulting in Senate passage by a 52-47 margin (McCain, R-AZ, did not vote due to his health issues). Thanks again to anyone who called.

There’s almost certainly time to call your representative if you haven’t yet. I haven’t been able to find a reliable source stating when the House vote is scheduled, but it’s likely to be an uphill battle, given the much larger party disparity there. (Even though Democratic and Republican voters support net neutrality at roughly the same rates, the same is not true of politicians, as a casual glance at today’s vote will prove. I have a number of hypotheses about why, but they’re beyond the scope of this thread.) Beyond that, there’s the question of whether the president would sign the bill. However, all of these obstacles seem likely to be decreased in potency should enough people mobilise in support of net neutrality; if politicians begin to perceive a political cost to opposing net neutrality, some will decide they care more about getting re-elected and fold.