States Fight Back Against FCC's Orders to End Net Neutrality in April

23 February, 2018, 10:05 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • FCC Eliminates Hard-Copy Rules Requirement

For now, the major Internet service providers have said they have no plans to block or throttle traffic. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on aspects of the reversal before it takes effect. This cascade of text is really just meant to communicate that the internet is not a public utility, that Title II doesn't apply, and that we're going back to how things were in 2015. The GOP-controlled FCC envisions net neutrality as a consumer protection and competition matter that will be enforced primarily by the Federal Trade Commission. Against all the odds, the bill is collecting co-sponsors and even Republican support, and it now looks like it has a realistic chance of getting the votes to pass through the Senate. For more information on the document we've discussed briefly above, have a peek at the Federal Register right this minute. 26 state legislatures are considering net neutrality legislation and five governors have issued executive orders on net neutrality. So while some suits have already been filed, with the 10-day counter from the FCC starting, it's clear that lawsuits can begin. The lawsuit was filed by Balderas and the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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There is also the fact that people living in states which have chosen not to create any net neutrality laws would still face the consequences of the FCC's ruling. Tech companies like Mozilla also filed lawsuits at the same time. Other court challenges are expected against the agency's rule.

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Whether the states can be legally successful with their challenges remains to be seen, says Brent Skorup, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Publishing the final notice of the repeal, which the FCC voted on late a year ago, triggers a 60-day countdown until the rules are removed. "It might not be called Net neutrality, but (it will address) what role should government have in this powerful new medium of the Internet".

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Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter support the rules. Governors of several states - New Jersey, Montana and NY - have already signed executive orders that effectively establish net neutrality principles at the state level. For example, San Francisco is now looking for proposals to build an open-access network that would require net neutrality guarantees from any ISP looking to offer services over the city-owned infrastructure.

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