The Internet Struck Back

February 18, 2011

Thank you Internet for telling Congress that Net Neutrality is important!  We got a great response to our campaign and made it clear to Congress that Net Neutrality is critical to innovation, increased public participation, and growth.

Here is what happens now.  On Wednesday after the Net Neutrality hearing (two minute video summary here) both the House and Senate introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) bill  to repeal current Net Neutrality rules and prevent any other Net Neutrality rules from being created in the future.

This started a 60-day clock for both houses of Congress to act within.  Right now it looks like the House will vote first, followed by the Senate.  The House will probably move quickly (for the House) and may vote as early as the first week in March.  If it passes the House, the vote will then move on to the Senate. 

Also yesterday the House voted on and passed an effort to de-fund the FCC’s enforcement of Network Neutrality rules.  If this attempt ultimately makes it into the continuing resolution for this year’s budget, the Net Neutrality rules will be on the books but the FCC will be unable to enforce them.  The good news on this vote was that 181 Representatives voted to support Net Neutrality.  That is up from 105 the last time Net Neutrality came up for anything resembling an up-or-down vote.

So where do we go from here?  The Internet Strikes Back undoubtedly helped to close the gap yesterday, and should help close the cap on the CRA vote when it comes.  However, we can’t be sure if it is closed all the way until the votes are counted.  That is why it is important to watch this space.  Odds are that this fight will move on to the Senate, where the Internet might have to strike back again.