FCC set to publish net neutrality order

Federal Communications Commission hearing room is seen in Washington

Chairman Pai had previously said that the FCC had been "micromanaging the internet" during the previous administration. Disappointed that this is one more anti-consumer notch on this FCC's belt, but hopeful that the arc of history is bent in the favor of Net Neutrality protection.

Net Neutrality was passed in 2015. Just because the FCC has published the order with the Federal Register doesn't mean that everything is lost.

Perhaps the best chance for net neutrality advocates is enacting legislation protecting net neutrality on the state level.

After April 23, it would become legal for ISPs to offer fast lanes, throttle connections, and potentially censor whatever they don't like on the internet.

There is also the fact that people living in states which have chosen not to create any net neutrality laws would still face the consequences of the FCC's ruling.

And the reversal will also have to go for a vote in the US Congress, and then the House of Representatives, where the Republicans hold a larger majority than in Congress. Publishing the final notice of the repeal, which the FCC voted on late a year ago, triggers a 60-day countdown until the rules are removed.

Meanwhile, in the other Washington, state leaders have been mounting a defense against the policy change.

Democrats, along with two independents and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) and Republican Susan Collins (Maine). With this action, the FCC has put us all at the mercy of local monopoly broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., in a statement. Its recent action is titled "The Restoring Internet Freedom Order", which is misleading considering how net neutrality allows for consumers to access content regardless of where it's hosted.

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A coalition of 23 state attorneys general refiled a lawsuit Thursday challenging the FCC's rollback of Obama-era net neutrality regulations as the commission published it final notice of the repeal in the Federal Register. The only real rule here is that they have to disclose if they're doing any of this. We wrote about the proposal to abolish this rule here.

Those who consider these new regulations too lax are looking beyond Congress for remedies.

Beyond that, attorneys general from more than 20 states have lodged lawsuits against the FCC to protect net neutrality. In December, Schneiderman said he would take such action and in January announced he had almost two dozen other states joining him in the suit. Governors of several states - New Jersey, Montana and NY - have already signed executive orders that effectively establish net neutrality principles at the state level. Those who oppose the repeal and support net neutrality fear that ISPs will abuse their power.

The telcos are of course putting a friendly face on the situation but how the situation plays out remains to be seen. "I expect the broad debate will continue", he said.

With the repeal, the FCC will do away with rules barring internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to online content.

The publication of the net neutrality order is expected to formally kick off a wave of legal challenges and Congressional attempts to undo the FCC's repeal.

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

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