FCC powers escape Republican censorship

Moves by US Republicans to allow their chums in the telcos to end net neutrality and throttle user bandwidth have been kicked out of the Senate.

It all started when the FCC decided that it was part of its remit to defend net neutrality to stop the US telephone neo-monopolies from killing it off and charging the owners of popular websites twice for bandwidth.

After much lobbying from the telcos, US Republicans decided this was a terrible thing and meant that government red tape was preventing the US constitutional right to be shafted by big business.

The Senate resolution was championed by Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, and had 42 co-sponsors, all Republican. A similar measure passed the Republican-led House of Representatives in April.

President Barack Obama warned that he would veto the bill and defend the FCC’s powers to rule on net neutrality. However in the end that was not required.

Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate blocked a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on “net neutrality.” The vote was 52-46 against the resolution.

The FCC rules still face a court challenge from Verizon in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the new FCC rules will go into effect on 20 November.