Wednesday's vote is only the latest installment in a almost decade-long battle regarding how the government should regulate internet. Chief among them was the possibility that schools could find themselves in a situation where a service provider blocks an app, throttles speeds on resources from rival providers, or provides faster speeds to companies that pay more.
City council today took a baby step toward ensuring San Antonians have access to a free and open Internet - a concept techies refer to as "net neutrality."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy lauded the Senate's 52-47 vote. They were joined by the two independents who usually vote with them, Sens. The resolution passed with the backing of all 49 Democratic senators and three Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine, John N. Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa A. Murkowski of Alaska.
Cable lobby group NCTA also condemned the Senate vote-while trying to convince the public that its members support net neutrality.
Neither tipped a hand until they voted a few hours earlier Wednesday to move the measure past a procedural hurdle. All the polls show that the majority of voters, Democrats and Republicans alike, are in favor of net neutrality.
"If proponents of net neutrality manage to secure a majority vote in the Senate, the chances of the resolution passing the Republican-controlled House are slim", said Sean McGrath, online privacy expert at BestVPN. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate.
While people remain exclusively fixated on the telecom industry's attacks on net neutrality, the reality is companies like Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon are busy trying to eliminate almost all federal and state oversight of their businesses.
The episode was built around a vote in the Senate to repeal the repeal of net neutrality rules - which may sound a little contrived but thanks to a good script and some powerful acting ended up being the most enjoyable outing this season.
Before the vote, Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, urged fellow senators to disregard the "armies of lobbyists marching the halls of Congress on behalf of big internet service providers". Markey (D-Mass.) said. "And, they certainly don't want their internet providers making those decisions".
Then, of course, America's hilarious mid-season sitcom President would need to give it final say, and he isn't exactly on-board with the whole net neutrality thing.
The FCC has made abundantly clear that states may not impose "any so-called "economic" or "public utility-type" regulation " on broadband services and that federal law flatly preempts such requirements.
The bill would reverse a decision the FCC made last December, to undo net neutrality rules, put in place by the Obama administration.