business news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

• The US Senate yesterday approved a resolution that would “nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback,” National Public Radio reports.

“The final vote was 52-47. As expected, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to overturn the FCC's controversial decision. But two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval.”

Net neutrality is essentially defined as a policy requiting all internet providers to treat all websites equally, regardless of size. The Trump-era FCC is rolling back that requirement, saying that those rules reflected the ”heavy hand” of government excess that only served to inhibit innovation and research at telecom and cable companies. Those who object to this move argue that it will mean that companies with deep pockets will be able to pay for faster access to consumers, which is not in the public interest.

The lines between the two sides of the issue has been fairly specific, with content companies like Amazon and Google favoring net neutrality, and service provider companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner lobbying for deregulation.

The Senate vote seems to be more symbolic than anything else, since it is seen as highly unlikely that the US House of Representatives will follow its lead. However, as NPR reports, the symbolic vote is one that is likely to get a lot of attention in the upcoming midterm elections as the two parties look to define themselves and their narratives for the voting public.
KC's View:
As I’ve said before I’m with John Ross, the president/CEO of IGA, who took up an unexpected role as part of the resistance movement when he
urged all of his members to fight the FCC on this one, saying that “killing net neutrality will give (big telecoms and cable companies) license to charge new internet gateway premiums that accelerate their margins and discriminate against smaller players on the Internet.”

Like independent retailers.

Several governors have taken steps to reimpose bet neutrality rules in their own states. The battle lines continue to be drawn, in stark terms.