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Net neut now needs a miracle

Or a filibuster

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Barring an unlikely Senate filibuster, the issue of net neutrality has almost certainly died for this year's legislative session in Washington DC.

On Wednesday, a Senate commerce panel failed to attach the provisions preventing operators "from blocking, degrading or prioritising service on their networks" to this year's telecomms bill.

The panel split down partisan lines, 11-11, on an amendment proposed by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bryon Dorgan (D-ND). A version of the bill minus the net neut language sailed through.

So that's that.

Hopes remain that a Senate Judiciary committee may yet decide to intervene with an amendment of its own, and a filibuster may yet take place on the Senate floor. However, neither is likely to succeed, given the composition of the Senate today. The lack of popular interest in the subject - which has failed to excite passions except on the fringe - is unlikely to sway majority Republican senators that it's a cross-partisan issue. ®

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