23 state AGs refile lawsuit challenging net neutrality repeal

23 February, 2018, 05:02 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
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Now that the rules have been published, said Consumers Union senior policy counsel Jonathan Schwantes, "we urge senators to listen to the consumers they represent and vote to restore these critical Net-neutrality rules to ensure that Internet service providers aren't the gatekeepers to the Internet". The lawsuit asked the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to find the Restoring Internet Freedom order unlawful. One of the things that will happen, reports TechCrunch, is that Democrats in the Senate and House will be able to force a vote on blocking the order. In the House, Doyle has 143 Democratic co-sponsors for a measure.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday. On Thursday, Mozilla re-filed its lawsuit.

Large internet providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast hailed the decision as a win, but smaller providers and content-producing companies like Netflix criticized the ruling when it passed in December. In theory, service providers could choose which companies succeed and fail.

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As the Attorneys General will argue in their suit, under the Administrative Procedure Act the FCC can not make "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality. An ISP could, for example, give their own video streaming service all the bandwidth it requires while throttling streaming video from competitors. Mr. Pai has argued that the rollback will spur more competition among internet service providers who will be motivated to offer more choice to their users.

But governors in Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey and NY have signed orders pledging to do business only with internet providers that abide by net neutrality rules.

Perhaps the best chance for net neutrality advocates is enacting legislation protecting net neutrality on the state level. Republicans, who support states right and have opposed net neutrality, could soon find themselves in a position where states rights are working in favor of an issue they oppose.

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Some Democrats in Congress are considering publication as opening a window for their party to lead an attempt to rescind the FCC's new rules-a long shot, considering that Republicans hold a majority in each chamber and President Donald Trump could veto a challenge to his chosen FCC chairman's action.

There is no doubt that intense debates and legal battles will ensue over the order and there are strong opinions and feelings on both sides of the Net Neutrality argument.

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