Senate votes to undo FCC net neutrality repeal

The Senate voted 52-47 to nullify the FCC's net neutrality repeal, but it will be tough to pass in the House.
13:06 | 05/16/18

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Transcript for Senate votes to undo FCC net neutrality repeal
Everybody welcome ABC news live on wade Johnson a couple of stories that we're following today. One of them being net neutrality a significant development. Happening on Capitol Hill net neutrality this idea that Internet service providers treat all online content. Equally at means. Preventing them from slowing or blocking some content providers or charging more to others for faster speed to pick a complicated issue. And so to get into it a little bit more help us all understand it we're going to bring in Jeff cook whose life in Washington DC and ABC news contributor Becky worldly. Live in San Francisco Forrester apple want to start with you first because there's been a lot of back and forth on this issue of net neutrality it's when he fifteen we saw the FCC. Put this in a place this was during the Obama administration. And then in December of 2017. The FCC under the trump administration then took it away so now we have the senate taking action today. What happened and what does it mean. So today senate Democrats. Forced. A vote on the floor to undo what the FCC did in December which was rolling back the way mark Obama era. Rules that were originally put place in 2000 in fifteen this is a pretty rarely used rule. But the Democrats were able to just take a simple majority to force this to go to the house next it would have to go to the president and that it would become law. But that's those are some predate girls what. Some big steps ahead we'll get more on the process in just a little bit but I want to bring in Becky Worley live in San Francisco Becky thanks so much for joining us. Let's just get some big picture perspective here to the average person what is net neutrality and what does it mean for consumers. Well to put it simply wait it's just what prevents I asked he is like Verizon and Comcast. From giving some Internet traffic preferential treatment fast lane if you will to get to your computer first. And why this matters is that so much of the content that we as consumers. Bring into our homes consume on act TVs are laptops. That is all. Routed through the Internet. And it's streaming service like and Netflix or Hulu were asked to eat tried to paying more war. To these Internet service providers that would ultimately trickle down to us so it really is at consumer issue. How fast can we get the content we want up until now it's all been a level playing field but. And an analogy that seems to stick is are we gonna have fast slain sunny and that the pay for or is everyone again going to get access to the scene it's. So Becky just the touch on what you mentioned you said Netflix and use that for example if an Internet service provider worked to charge Netflix more. For faster speeds Netflix would then pass that cost on to use a maybe you'd have to pay more for your Netflix access is that correct. Exactly and if they don't pay more does the air traffic get slowed down and do we go back to the day's calls. Video content that looks like. S good. By the way I love that robot but it must be great rate on the dance floor right Banca. I know about getting. Yeah and exhibit we I think but it's a great understanding of of what we're dealing with here you'll have companies big companies that have a lot of money basically. Sure they can spend the money for the faster speeds. But that you have other companies that will be slow down or perhaps even blocked altogether essentially. Preventing their ability to to provide this content to people right. One. Issues around net neutrality is the concept that it stifles innovation and competition. So if you have an upstart company that wants to compete against some of these. Again continue our example of this streaming video services if you have a small company that doesn't have a ton of money to paint a Comcast Verizon's Time Warner's and they want a stream but their content is lucky and choppy compared to Netflix there's no way that they can compete with the people ice. It's like pop and lock of the Internet area I guess you'd have a well. Becky we're gonna come back to just a second but I want to go back to Jeff cook in Washington for a moment to talk more about. What's happening today because I think in concept Jeff people here net neutrality in the you know this this. If through equal opportunity Internet it sounds like a good thing but reap. Akins really oppose this why is that. So Republicans believe that the current laws or laws that would go what effect in June by the FCC's vote in December. Our antiquated there at eight a lot of them actually go back to the 1930s they believe that things he did get that need to be brought. Back up to date. So that as one senator put it in her restaurant providers are spending less money on lawyers in Morse more money on innovation. So they believe that the Obama era laws. Our are restricting that restrict their ability to innovate and to form one example. Bring better Internet service out rural community. So what's interesting about this I think confusing for some it were watching it this was a senate move by Democrats in the senate. But yet we know the senate is controlled by Republicans and so is the house and so was the White House does it have any chance of actually passing it net neutrality. Coming back through the legislative process. So senate Democrats were able to take advantage or it to page of the opportunity. Senator McCain not being. In the senate as he as he fights brain cancer. And so they were able to get Susan Collins on their side a Republican who who gave them the simple majority to get to just push them crossed that line. To get them that's the majority as I said to push this towards the house now the house obviously has a much bigger gap. Com that's and that's a very very big hurdle. That that the Democrats the Democrats seem optimistic on Republicans believe that it doesn't stand a chance. And but then of course you'd have to get to the White House even if it does get passed the house and president trump this. Already supported the FCC's decision from December in overturning the Obama Ayers did Obama era laws so. It's it's seems like an insurmountable hurdle but Democrats remain optimistic and of course we'll continue following. All right Jeff good point I do wanna check back in with Becky Worley one more time dispersant file perspective here Becky. As were looking at this if you're just a consumer of content on the Internet what are we supposed to make of this are we going to see any change in the immediate future that Howell the Internet works and how we use it. Well cheap hi who's the chairman of the FCC says. Hey there wasn't any problem before net neutrality when intended effect and there will be any problem afterwards he says that net neutrality is a solution that won't work to a problem that doesn't exist. He wants to police bad apples. After they commit. Egregious acts of stifling innovation and throttling con tent. And how that all done through the FTC. So I don't think they'll be any immediate actions and I think companies have realized that. I thought that because net neutrality is really fundamentally one of the most long key board being. Technical subjects that you could bring it to the public eye that people wouldn't pay attention. Industry actually it's become this hyper politicized lightning rod where you have John Oliver doing. Bryant's about it you have 3.5 million comments being made on on government web sites about how bad people think. A repealing net neutrality would be that they think it's good for the consumer so I companies are on notice that we're paying attention to this issue. Whether there's a law ordered not I think for the consumer the awareness has been a really good thing. After seeing in this is one of those issues that definitely impacts all of us now because we're also glued to our phones or tablets computers devices. And the Internet and how it works a big part of our dated it lives. We'll wit that's the fundamental crux of the issue is the Internet a public utility and necessity. Or is it a luxury and that's what net neutrality gets too hard. I've Becky Worley live force in San Francisco and our thanks to Jeff cook in Washington DC thank you so much to both of view on this a complicated issue. All right we do want to shift gears though some other news coming out of Washington today we're gonna get ABC news correspondent David Curley whose live there the TSA is projecting a another record breaking travel season and David here we are heading into the summer of what we hear that from the TS today. It concerns us was are thinking about longer lines at the airports and more pat downs and all of that what does it TSA doing about this with this announcement. Well there basically trying to send out a warning I think partially in saying they're going to be a lot of people flying this summer and get ready for it because there may be long lines. But TSA wants to avoid that if you remember back. They hatter real problem. A while back with really long lines especially in Chicago. And depth push back from consumers and passengers was immediate. So what they're basically saying is hey. Expect a record number of or crowds here were putting on more officers we hope there won't be lines but no that there are a lot of people flying this season there's. Talking about a number of 240. Million. Americans. Taking two aircraft this summer. Then it starts from Memorial Day runs until Labor Day is that period of time. They are gonna put more officers on they say they think. This is always what they see before the seasons they're already. Because they are more officers. What should passengers due and travelers do to prepare for this are there any tips any guidance that the TSA is offering for passengers. Well it's always you know follow the rules and if you don't fly a lot Jimmy want to go to the TSA web site. And look at the substances. That things that you can't take liquids. The above four three ounces things that you need to take out of your bag when you get there. You know it for somebody who flies a lot you you can tell somebody who doesn't smile a lot. Because they have a hard time getting through TSA. One of the tricks that I always do and I suggest this to a lot of people when you are waiting in line to get to the TSA officer to show your boarding pass and your ID. Start taking things that your pockets than him putting him into your carry on take out your phone take out your money take out everything else your pockets of at a time you get. Through the checkpoint. You've got that job Marty thing Kara. I kind of it's a question on topic but it's not part of TSA is a press release that they sent doppler is just want to ask you. You know for awhile TSA was suggesting that people. I go through their T assay pre check program or global entry and are trying to speed up the lines like getting people in that way. We for a lot of complaints from people saying that that process is and as fast as it should be in those lions not moving as quickly as they should be either. Is the TSA doing Tikka expedite some of that. Police still want to see people go to preacher and basically this is you or. Signing up for that airline they check your IDG they know who you Warner's betting that takes place before you show at the airport. Yes have those he has the pre check lines gotten a little bit longer yes but TSA says if more people use the program though this. Turn more lines in the TSE pre check so that should still be a faster lane and going through the main line. And of course there is this other program which actually have to pay for. Which is called clear is a private. Effort and you can actually zipper into the line at they have on that you have to pay for that every year. Is TSA giving a reason for this projection in this record breaking travel season. That usually comes from the economists and the airline industry it is because Americans. Have a little extra dough and they all wanna go someplace and we've seen this over the past couple of years which is the economy's. Been strong that folks have been. Wanting to get into an aircraft and travel. When times are tough you see more folks on the road and we will see your record number of people probably on the roads this year as well. Were racing some of the the gases for Memorial Day weekend and those looked pretty high Americans want to go someplace during the summer and one of the ways are gonna do it. Is through the air and that's why we're gonna see the record number of travelers. All right pack your patience I suppose it is summer season my favorite line all right David turley thank you so much live horse in Washington we do appreciate it. For more on that story and all the stories we're covering here at ABC news you can go to Or download the ABC news out. That does it for me here at ABC news live bomb which got them thanks for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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