Net Neutrality Ends in April, Unless Congress Acts

Elias Hubbard
February 24, 2018

On Thursday, Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two FCC commissioners to vote against the repeal (the other bring Mignon Clyburn), said "The FCC's net neutrality decision is a study in just what's wrong with Washington".

The recent Federal Communications Commission order curbing net neutrality is officially on the record, government records show. 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.

Net neutrality is the basic principle that all internet traffic should be be treated equally.

Though Oregon's proposal for its own net neutrality laws is a reassurance to those living in the state, it still leaves room for possible issues to arise, as there would still be no federal law for net neutrality. There are several challenges to the repeal and Democrats in the Senate have enough votes to reverse it. Advocacy group Free Press recently reported 25 states have introduced bills that would allow the states to enforce net neutrality protections on behalf of their citizens.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, acting on behalf of the Democrat-controlled states, will be refiling a suit as soon as the publication happens, after misfiling it ahead of the agreed timeline.

Pai "fought to preserve your free speech rights" as a member of the FCC's Republican minority during the Obama administration, Schneider said.

The new Order eliminates the net neutrality rules ("no blocking, no throttling, and no fast lanes") that have protected the Open Internet, and takes away the FCC's authority over broadband more generally. "Consumers want an open internet that doesn't discriminate on content, and protects free speech and consumer privacy", Wicker said in a joint statement with other senators. "Either way, our coalition of AGs is taking the FCC to court to challenge its illegal rollback of net neutrality".

The FCC order could also be preempted by state laws. "We are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence".

This change will now permit ISPs to block, impede, or charge more for certain content as they deem appropriate.

But most net neutrality supporters reject that course, at least while the repeal is tied up in court and Republicans control majorities in both the House and Senate.

"Net neutrality protections ushered in a new era of creativity, civic engagement, and innovation", said Raffi Krikorian, the Democratic National Committee's chief technology officer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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