Tech: Republican Sen. Susan Collins is calling on the FCC to cancel the net neutrality vote

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Sen. Susan Collins.

Collins and Sen. Angus King urged Pai to cancel the vote in order to give Congress and the FCC time to hold public hearings.

  • Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have written a letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai urging him to cancel Thursday's vote on net neutrality.
  • Collins and King argue that the process moved to quickly and didn't allow for public hearings or a proper investigation into the economic impact.
  • "We are concerned about the proposed order's impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America's ability to realize the internet's full potential," Collins and King wrote.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are calling on Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai to cancel Thursday's vote on net neutrality.

In a letter published Thursday morning, Collins and King urged Pai to cancel the vote in order to give Congress and the FCC time to hold public hearings. Collins, a Republican, and King, an Independent, are both senators from Maine.

"This is a matter of enormous importance with significant implications for our entire economy, and therefore merits the most thorough, deliberate, and thoughtful process that can be provided," Collins and King wrote. "The process thus far in this important matter has not met that standard."

Collins and King also argued that repealing net neutrality protections could have an adverse effect on the economy and stifle innovation, particularly in rural parts of the US.

"Repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules will undermine longstanding protections that have ensured the open internet as a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity," the senators wrote. "We are concerned about the proposed order's impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America's ability to realize the internet's full potential."

The FCC on Thursday will vote on a proposal to repeal its net-neutrality rules (you can watch the hearing live here). Without net-neutrality protections, ISPs could block users from streaming video from sites like Netflix or YouTube or charge extra just to access those sites. They could also force those sites to pay more to ensure that videos be streamed at the same speed and quality as at other video sites.

The rules wouldn't take effect for a few months — some 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. In the meantime, consumer-advocacy groups and other opponents will almost certainly file suit to try to block them. Members of Congress, particularly Democrats, are likely to introduce legislation to try to overturn them.

Business Insider will be attending the FCC hearing in Washington. For the latest update, head on over to Tech Insider.

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