Beginning in 2010 and formalized in the 2015 Open Internet Order, however, Obama's Federal Communications Commission would abandon this largely hands-off path, taking up the most regulatory arrow in its quiver-Title II common carrier regulation. Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker argued that net neutrality resulted in heavy-handed government regulation that stifled innovation.
In the House of Representatives, the bill faces a tougher uphill battle.
All independent and Democratic senators - including West Virginia Sen.
Wednesday's vote also saw some of Cruz's Republican colleagues side with the over 80 percent of Americans who want to see the Obama-era protections preserved, including Sens.
The legislation is far from a done deal. But the House isn't likely to take it up. The House won't pass it and Trump would veto it, Thune said.
The Obama-era regulations are set to end June 11.
Other businesses have echoed this statement.
"This should not be a partisan issue", Leahy said.
Hirono said recent events in Hawaii highlighted the need to maintain a level internet playing field, particularly for local news outlets that often become the main source of information for communities suffering from natural disasters.
There's a glimmer of hope for net neutrality yet. Republicans have a 236-193 majority in the House, compared to a one-seat majority in the Senate.
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But with that said she added, more than 50 percent of Americans don't have a choice for high speed internet.
"Maintaining an open internet through net neutrality helps ensure fair and equal access to broadband for both entrepreneurs and consumers alike". They say just trust us.
"This is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable to all Americans", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Alaska's other senator, Dan Sullivan, said he agrees with that.
When the FCC repealed net neutrality they unleashed the fury of the Internet, and it led to a backlash unlike anything ever seen before. Providers will have the ability to broker deals with certain online services, perhaps throttling access to competitors.
The agency a year ago eliminated Obama-era rules forbidding internet service providers from blocking or slow web traffic.
Nicol Turner-Lee of the Brookings Institution does not think consumers' online experience will change substantially. Multiple surveys show widespread popular support for net neutrality and opposition to the FCC rollback.
Despite the unlikelihood of this actually re-enacting net neutrality rules, Democrats will hail it as a victory.