Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

Ajit Pai

The FCC has published its net neutrality rules repeal in the Federal Register, a process that spells the beginning of the end for a free and open internet. He stressed if they fall short in Congress, it's likely this issue will be taken up in court.

Markey's proposed block to the bill falls under authority granted to lawmakers under the Congressional Review Act.

With the official publishing of Pai's order to the Federal Register happening Thursday, expect to see more lawsuits aiming to defend net neutrality hitting any day now. The various challengers jointly withdrew their petitions February 16 in anticipation of Federal Register publication, in order to refile once the challenges are actually eligible for court consideration. The FCC will also eliminate a rule barring providers from prioritizing their own content. "They also prohibited broadband providers from striking special deals that would give some websites or apps "priority" over others". The commission also reversed the Obama FCC's classification of broadband as a common carrier, like a traditional telephone company, under communications law. There has also been talk about OR creating laws to protect net neutrality within the state.

The FCC released the order January 4, a few weeks after the agency's party-line vote to adopt it. Disappointed that this is one more anti-consumer notch on this FCC's belt, but hopeful that the arc of history is bent in favor of net neutrality protections. In a February 22 release, the agency sent out "final notice" that Obama-era rules governing equal distribution of the internet will be repealed in 60 days.

Senate Democrats are now just one vote shy from overcoming a Republican majority.

However, if the vote reversal fails to gain the needed votes, it is likely to pushed through anyway because of a likely veto by President Donald Trump. But Trump in 2014 called the prospect of the Democratic-controlled FCC's classification of the internet as a utility service an "attack on the internet" and a "top down power grab". The order appeared in this morning's Federal Register; the Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to pass the "Restoring Internet Freedom" order over strenuous objections from consumer groups and the public, and allegations that numerous pro-order comments received by the FCC were faked and/or from stolen identities and possibly the result of Russian interference.

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