In a statement, Schumer said that House Republicans could have prevented the regulations on internet service providers (ISPs) from being rolled back by taking up legislation that passed the Senate last month.
The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, almost six months after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the rules. Most major internet providers have publicly pledged not to cherry-pick consumer content, though activists say without enforcement those are largely empty promises.
"It is incumbent on the House of Representatives to listen to the voices of consumers, including the millions of Americans who supported the FCC's 2015 net neutrality order, and keep the internet free and open for all", they said in a letter Thursday. However, Congress can still pass a law to simply reverse the repeal or even improve on the previous net neutrality rules. "They're not going to roll out harmful paid prioritization plans, site blocking or throttling right away". In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've heard about the impending death of net neutrality.
The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Montana, for example, have each signed executive orders requiring broadband providers with state contracts to be net neutral.
Ajit Pai, whom President Trump named to be his new FCC chairman, and who spearheaded the repeal of the net-neutrality rules, killed that inquiry soon after assuming the chairmanship.
Net neutrality advocates have heard that argument before and don't buy it.
Obama-era net neutrality rules were enacted to regulate internet service providers.
In the wake of the FCC's repeal of its net neutrality rules, several states have adopted their own protections. It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August. In reality, the FTC will only be able to enforce a company's own terms and conditions, which won't do anything to stop the spread of paid fast lanes, zero-rating, or anti-competitive behavior across the industry. Many Democrats say the issue will help motivate younger people to vote in congressional elections this November, when all 435 seats in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate will be up for grabs.
"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", said Gigi Sohn, a former counselor for the FCC. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.