Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

Federal Communications Commission hearing room is seen in Washington

Federal Communications Commission hearing room is seen in Washington

A quick look at the webpage of the Federal Register shows that the order axing net neutrality will be published Thursday, and, according to Reuters, that will give those opposed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's vision of the internet a chance to fight back.

The concept of net neutrality will continue to exist after the Restoring Internet Freedom Order goes into effect in April, but the FCC's ability to enforce it will be gone, as the new rule undoes the ISP classification and strips the FCC of its regulatory power over the companies.

After the repeal takes effect - which won't happen for at least two months - broadband providers will be free to censor sites, slow down competitors and otherwise interfere with people's use of the web.

That said, keep up the pressure on your representatives, from your mayor to your senator, if you want to protect net neutrality. Drew Hansen, the bill's sponsor, said he expects the bill to be voted out of committee in the Senate this week.

Despite the name of the FCC's order, there are no provisions within the document to provide additional protections for consumers. 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.

But Washington state may face an uphill battle.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who put forth the planned repeal and voted in its favor, dismissed the concerns a year ago.

Hansen thinks that is "nonsense". "Suddenly there wouldn't be any possibility of a patchwork of state laws". Almost 70 mayors and county leaders have signed on to a letter objecting to the FCC's decision and arguing the rollback of net neutrality protections will further the digital divide and stifle economic growth.

The most effective solution here is to reverse the FCC's repeal and reinstate the net neutrality rules. "Common Cause and its allies are fighting all the way to oppose the FCC's misguided actions and restore the net neutrality rules through all fronts including litigation, state legislation and the Congressional Review Act". However the FCC has sought to explicitly preempt these laws in the new rule.

In December the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturned net neutrality rules instated under President Obama. Broadband internet is classified as an information service, not a utility.

The lawsuit is filed by the Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. "So we will see in short order whether we should take them at their word about that or not".

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