Markey Slams Internet Reg Rollback on Senate Floor

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon (June 11) to excoriate FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and ISPs over the June 11 rollback of network neutrality regs, and said there would be a vote in the House on the House version of his Senate version of a Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify that reg rollback.

It has already passed the Senate (52 to 47, with three Republicans breaking ranks), but is a far tougher task in the House, where it is some 48 votes short of getting a floor vote.

But Markey said the voice of the people would be raised in anger and descend electronically on his former House colleagues, saying that as of Monday the net regs were "just gone," which they were. He said the FCC had officially stripped consumers of protections so that they must now blindly trust their cable companies and ISPs to protect them. He called it "Big Cable's dream come true.

Net Neutrality Activists Get It in Gear

The senator said it was "just a matter of time before these big companies start to exercise their unfettered right to begin discriminating."

Markey asserted that the FCC had deregulated broadband access even in the face of, and ignoring the will of, 22 million Americans saying they wanted to keep it on the books.

The FCC is under no obligation to vote with a majority of commenters, only to take their views into account.

Both Markey and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asserted that if there were a vote in the House today on the CRA, it would be approved (though there are only 170 votes for a petition to even get the CRA to a floor vote).

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.