Senate's failure to dismiss net neutrality block measure met with mixed reactions

Service providers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) that want to get rid of the impending net neutrality rules will now face yet another obstacle as the Democrat-led Senate voted to keep them in place.

Despite an effort by the Republican senators to overturn the rules, the Senate voted 52-46 to dismiss a measure to bring a rule-blocking resolution to a floor vote. In April, the House of Representatives passed a similar vote 240-179.

Not surprisingly, the vote was met with a mixed reaction.

Supporters like the ACLU immediately called it a victory for consumers.

"By rejecting this unwise resolution to overturn net neutrality, the Senate has voted to protect the Internet and preserve its crucial role in advancing the artistic, intellectual, political and economic vitality of our nation," said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU legislative counsel, in a statement. "Without net neutrality, Americans' access to the Internet would hinge not on our right to free speech but on the whims of the corporations that would control it."

Alternatively, the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, agreed with Republicans that the rules are meddlesome and will slow down the growth of the Internet.  

"Market forces already regulate the digital economy faster than the government ever could, as proven by the Comcast v. FCC case of 2010 that was already moot by the time a federal court weighed in," the institute said in a statement. "Getting an even more sclerotic federal agency, the FCC, involved in micro-managing the Internet will slow down and strangle one of the last vestiges of economic vibrancy in America."

Of course, since the rules don't go into effect until Nov. 20 the fight is far from over.

According to a source cited in a Broadcasting & Cable article, Republicans, who believe the FCC's regulations will stunt the growth of the Internet, will work with resolution co-sponsor and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on what their next move should be.

Then, there's Verizon. The FCC's new regulations will likely face more legal challenges from Verizon, a staunch net neutrality opponent that's already sued to block the regulations from going into effect twice.    

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this article
- here's FierceCable's take

Related articles:
Groups anything but neutral on net neutrality
Free Press files suit against FCC's net neutrality rules
Net neutrality debut to face challenges from service providers, Republican leaders
Verizon relaunches net neutrality lawsuit against FCC

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