The Senate voted Wednesday to preserve net neutrality, passing a measure that nullifies the FCC’s decision to repeal it last December.
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) crossed party lines to join Democrats and independents in defending the measure.
The final vote was 52-47.
The Obama-era rules ban broadband companies, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from slowing down or blocking access to certain cites.
The rules also prevent providers from offering websites faster Internet access – known as “fast lanes” – for more money, thereby favoring wealthy businesses.
The FCC, chaired by Aijit Pai, voted to repeal the rules put in place in 2015. Net neutrality rules are officially expected to expire on June 11.
AT&T issued a statement Wednesday, saying: “We reiterate our call for actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users.”
Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mas.) celebrated the outcome of the vote Wednesday.
“When we talk about a free and open Internet, we mean it is free from corporate control,” he said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren issued a statement saying: “Repealing the neutrality rules is just another move to put more money in the pockets of the rich at the expense of working people across the country.”
The measure now requires House approval and President Trump’s signature.
It’s unclear whether or not the Senate resolution will advance.