Big Tech Teams Up in Fight to Restore Net Neutrality

But Democrats and other net neutrality advocates want to force legislators to take a vote anyway, considering polls have shown that a majority of Americans support net neutrality.

The lobby group for some of the most powerful U.S. tech firms said it would join the legal challenge to the planned rollback of "net neutrality" rules requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally.

Along with lifting the regulations that made it illegal for internet service providers to block or slow access to websites they did not own, net neutrality also prevents those providers from charging extra fees to customers, a "pay-to-play" arrangement in order to connect to certain websites or use applications that eat up large amounts of internet bandwidth.

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"In today's digital world, the internet is critical to free expression, free speech, and democracy", de León said in a statement. But the path to restore net neutrality and secure its future has already begun to unfold.

"The final version of Chairman Pai's rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers", IA President Michael Beckerman said. If 30 senators call for a CRA, they can make the entire Senate vote on it. Claire McCaskill became the 30th senator to get behind Markey's move.

However, a reversal of the FCC push seems unlikely because Congress is controlled by Republicans, very few of whom have expressed support for the net neutrality rules adopted under the Obama administration. A tie vote would likely mean the deciding vote would be cast by VP Mike Pence, dooming the resolution. None of them are Republicans. Once the new rule is published in the federal register and the FCC submits a report to the House and Senate, Congress has a limited period of time to act. Senator Brian Schatz a Democrat from Hawaii has said he's hopeful that a new generation of voters who care about the internet will see net neutrality as their defining issue, much like members of the National Rifle Association, who support the Second Amendment.

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Passage of a CRA would "repeal Pai's repeal", explains Dana Floberg of Free Press, which would leave the web "right back where [it] started-with strong net neutrality rules".

He continued: "Regardless of party affiliation, all elected officials should stand with their constituents and restore the 2015 protections that protect free speech, choice and innovation online".

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