CPUC Appeals FCC Decision Repealing Net Neutrality

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"The FCC's decision to repeal the open-internet rules was a disaster, and we plan to re-file against the agency in coming days so we can make that case in court", Tim Karr, spokesman for pro-net neutrality group Free Press, told Bloomberg Law.

While the rule is published today, it doesn't take effect quite yet.

More than half of the states have introduced legislation preventing ISPs from blocking and prioritizing content.

The rules were originally implemented back in February 2015, where the Internet was utilized like a utility, without the need to boost prices for "premium customers". "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", Schneiderman said. Against all the odds, the bill is collecting co-sponsors and even Republican support, and it now looks like it has a realistic chance of getting the votes to pass through the Senate.

The order, which was published this morning in the Federal Register, starts the clock on legal and legislative efforts to overturn it.

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In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) returns to the light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the internet to develop and thrive for almost two decades.

"Today, the FCC made official its illegal rollback of net neutrality - and, as promised, our coalition of attorneys general is filing suit", Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the lawsuit (PDF). Twenty-two state attorneys general and the District of Columbia also joined the legal battle. Several states already have or will have their own net neutrality rules.

A court victory is likely the best chance the FCC's opponents have to thwart the agency.

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. But without laws that require Verizon to treat all online traffic equally, what's to stop it from giving its own service the fastest connection, while slowing down others?

The FCC and its chairman, Ajit Pai, have been under fire over the past few months, making the controversial decision to end Net Neutrality rules in a speedy 3-2 vote this past December, which would overturn rules on the Internet that would allow service providers to charge more for certain content. Governors of several states - New Jersey, Montana and NY - have already signed executive orders that effectively establish net neutrality principles at the state level. "Without the protection of Net Neutrality, tiered access limits diversity and blocks ideas and opinions", the group writes.

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