States To Send Net Neutrality Decision To Court

Ivan Schwartz
January 18, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), challenging its attempt to repeal net neutrality rules. "The FCC's unlawful rollback of net neutrality protections could allow internet service providers to block or limit access to certain websites, limit quality and speeds for streaming or video services, censor viewpoints or voices they may not like, or even charge websites and online retailers for priority access". Others may file suit as well, and a major tech-industry lobbying group has said it will support litigation.

The action comes only a day after Democrats in the Senate said they were nearing the number of votes needed for a legislative measure to help overturn the FCC's rule change. Despite the protests of more than a dozen attorneys general, the proposed rollback passed an FCC vote last month along party lines. Since it's enactment in 2015, congressional leaders have openly criticized the net neutrality guidelines, saying the rules "stifle investment". Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who implemented the rules, has also come out against the repeal.

This comes just weeks after a 3-2 ruling from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), chaired by Ajit Pai, voted down strict rules the commission put in place two years ago during the Obama Adminstration.

Mozilla has also pressed for voters to pressure their Senator into blocking the FCC's repeal, but we think there will be more success seen in the courtroom.

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However, if net neutrality does become a campaign issue with young voters in the 2018 elections, as some Democrats hope, they could use Republicans' "no" votes on restoring net neutrality rules to their advantage.

For the overruling to actually occur, however, the CRA will also have to pass in the House of Representatives, of which the Republicans now have greater control.

"Ending net neutrality could end the internet as we know it". It certainly hasn't helped that numerous objections to net neutrality involve completely false talking points about investment (it didn't drop) or how the new rules gave the FCC control over what ISPs charge.

"There is a great deal of work to be done to push back against the FCC's order, but with the support of the public, the courts, and Congress, we are hopeful that net neutrality will ultimately prevail", she told Courthouse News Wednesday.

Other reports by GizPress

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