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Will the FCC overturn net neutrality?

23 February 2018

The repeal is set to take effect April 23, according to the order.

The Federal Communications Commission officially published its order overturning net neutrality rules in the Federal Register on Thursday, a procedural step that allows for the filing of legal challenges.

The approval of Pai's proposal marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

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Advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and Free Press Action are calling for a day of action on Tuesday, Feb. 27, to demand a final vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution in the Senate, which seeks to overturn the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules. Disappointed that this is one more anti-consumer notch on this FCC's belt, but hopeful that the arc of history is bent in favour of net neutrality protections. Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, told BuzzFeed News in an email that the New York attorney general's suit, which is expected to be joined by over 20 state attorneys general, would be filed by Thursday afternoon.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who put forth the planned repeal and voted in its favor, dismissed the concerns previous year. Governors of several states - New Jersey, Montana and NY - have already signed executive orders that effectively establish net neutrality principles at the state level.

The rollback of net neutrality might not make much of a different to some states, however. Tech companies like Mozilla also filed lawsuits at the same time. But it remains to be seen.

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Votes fell along party lines in December, with the FCC board's Republicans favoring the repeal and the two Democrats on the board voting against it.

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. But state attorneys general, along with the Federal Trade Commission, provide plenty of consumer protections under the new regulations, he says. More than half (57%) supported the Net-neutrality rules, and 67% disagreed that providers should be able to choose what content customers can access.

The new Order eliminates the net neutrality rules ("no blocking, no throttling, and no fast lanes") that have protected the Open Internet, and takes away the FCC's authority over broadband more generally.

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More: Net neutrality rules threaten to rewind the Internet back to 2014.

Will the FCC overturn net neutrality?