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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Congress’ deadline to restore net neutrality is running out

The question is : "Will you vote to restore net neutrality and help save the free and open internet?"

Image Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET

As the deadline to save net neutrality nears, advocacy groups and a coalition of websites are pressuring members of Congress to restore net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission reversed nearly a year ago.

While the Senate used “an obscure legislative tool” called the Congressional Review Act (CRA), introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, (D-Mass.), to reverse net neutrality in a 52-47 final tally, it’s now up to the House of Representatives to save it.

In an open letter to Congress, signers are calling the House’s decision a moral one rather than a political one.

“Net neutrality is not like other issues that are met with partisan divisiveness. It’s the basic underlying principle that has allowed the Internet to thrive since its inception. Without it, monopolistic Internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T – some of the least popular companies in the United States – will become the dictators of our online experience: they’ll control what we see, where we get our news, which businesses succeed, and which ones fail.”

For the CRA to pass and overturn FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to gut net neutrality, the House needs 218 signatures in favor of the measure, Common Dreams reported. Currently, there are 177 members of Congress who have signed the measure with 18 House Democrats who have still yet to sign it.

To get the measure passed in the House, advocacy groups are asking constituents to contact their representatives and make their voices heard on this matter with the deadline just days away (Dec. 10).

“Net neutrality is not dead yet. Not even close,” Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future (FFTF), said. “But as the clock runs out for this Congress to act, we have an opportunity to show the entire world which elected officials are willing to fight for net neutrality, and which ones decide to sit on their hands and let big telecom companies take control over what we can see and do on the internet.”

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