Senator Thune Dismisses Net Neutrality Efforts, Seeks Dialogue

John Thune, the Republican Senator from South Dakota, says that the recent Senate vote to move forward on an effort to reinstate Title II net neutrality protections is a futile effort. Thune clarified that he has no issue with measures to protect consumers and the internet at large from the possibility of unscrupulous practices by ISPs, but he is largely critical of Democratic efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC's repeal of Title II regulations. He believes, like most others in his camp, that the rules are too heavy-handed and only offer protection for consumers at the cost of innovation and competition in the broadband space. He believes that the measure has no chance to get through the house and get signed by the President, and has thus branded the effort "a setback" in the fight for real net neutrality.

Thune, like many Republicans, is not outright opposed to the idea of forcing ISPs to refrain from certain consumer-harming and anti-competitive behavior. In fact, he helped introduce legislation in 2015 that was aimed at introducing many of those protections but was pre-empted by the FCC's enacting of Title II rules. He seeks to bring back that bill as a bipartisan solution and wants talks over potential ways to reformat it for the current broadband and mobile landscapes. In its original form, it included protections regarding paid prioritization and fast lanes, along with blocking and throttling legal web content. Thune concludes, essentially, that this effort has no chance to pass, and Democrats who know that are using the issue as a grandstand to get people to the polls for midterm elections.

President Trump has already made it clear that he will veto any measure to reinstate Title II protections that happens to cross his desk. As such, it's plausible that the current push to save the Obama-era rules is political grandstanding. Even so, the goal is to institute common-sense rules for ISPs one way or another, and the push for this measure may just be enough to spur votes to reshape the House and Senate, or at the very least, to give lawmakers a place to start in planning out bipartisan legislation and deciding how much power the FCC should wield.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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