FCC Says Net Neutrality Rules to Cease on Jun 11

Posted May 11, 2018

Hey, remember net neutrality?

The FCC in December voted 3-2 to reverse Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain online content. Pai could have allowed the primary portions of the repeal to take effect earlier, but he chose to wait for the OMB to sign off on a new version of the transparency rules that require ISPs to publicly disclose network management practices.

For example, under net neutrality's rules, Comcast wouldn't be allowed to block traffic to Netflix in order to promote their own hypothetical media streaming service.

An official notice of the repeal's effective date will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.

Though net neutrality has historically drawn bipartisan support, the resolution could see a tougher slog in the House.

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The FCC's action late a year ago reclassified Internet service as an information service for regulatory purposes; it had been classified as a common carrier telecommunications service under the FCC's previous order on the issue in 2015. That's why recent polls show that 86 percent of Americans want to keep strong net neutrality rules, including 82 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats.

Net neutrality supporters say a window of opportunity still exists because the FCC has not moved to finalize its new rule that overturns the old rule. "Mike Coffman of Colorado, Don Young of Arkansas, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Dave Reichert of Washington, John Curtis of Utah have already publicly criticized the FCC repeal", she said.

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called the decision "profoundly disappointing".

The U.S. Senate is set to vote as early as next week on whether to reject the FCC repeal of the net neutrality rules, but that effort faces an uphill battle.

Right now there are 50 senators supporting the measure, including one Republican. "We expect there to be some considerable momentum coming out of the Senate and 160 will quickly grow towards the 218 that we need to have a vote over there as well".

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Markey and others aim to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a procedure through which Congress can review and overturn rules by federal agencies, to try to nullify the FCC vote.

Following Thursday's FCC announcement, Markey wrote on Twitter: "the Senate must act NOW and pass my resolution to save the internet as we know it".

We are very close to getting the support we need- we have the 30 co-sponsors necessary to start debate on the legislation and we are only one vote short of the 51 votes needed for it to pass the Senate.

There has been mounting concern that even if the movement is successful, it could be blocked by President Trump if he chooses to veto the bill entirely.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai repealed net neutrality rules in December.

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