21 states are suing the FCC over net neutrality

Posted January 17, 2018

The United States Senate has amassed 50 votes to reverse the Federal Communications Commission ruling, meaning they need just one more to potentially rescue Net Neutrality. The commission's repeal paved the way for internet service providers to charge websites fees for faster internet speeds and to slow down or block other sites.

"The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers - allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online", New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the initiative, stated.

The resolution of disapproval, which is being led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and now has the support of the entire Senate Democratic caucus, would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's item and fully restore the Open Internet Order. With only one Republican (Senator Susan Collins) now saying she'll vote for the measure, the effort needs just one more Republican vote to pass in the Senate. Republicans have previously used the Congressional Review Act to repeal Obama-era regulations.

Before it passes the Senate, one more Republican has to break ranks and support the resolution.

NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said Tuesday that the end of the net neutrality rules would hurt consumers and businesses.

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Since the President has veto power, the odds of any resolution making it past his desk are slim making this largely a symbolic effort on behalf of Senate Democrats (and perhaps to get Republicans on record as voting against net neutrality, for political purposes).

In anticipation of an FCC argument that today's petitions are premature, those making the challenge point to the rush to court and the FCC's ultimate semi-acceptance back in 2015 when the FCC was on the verge of publishing its "open internet" rules.

The FCC to deregulate the broadband industry, remove net neutrality rules, and to prevent states from issuing their own, similar rules.

Markey declared in a statement today that there's "a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support to overturn the FCC's partisan and misguided decision on net neutrality".

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