March 24, 2018

States dig their heels in over FCC's net neutrality reversal

09 January 2018, 01:44 | Kenneth Drake

Top tech lobby joins legal battle to keep 'net neutrality'

FCC claims US internet too fast

In order to overturn the FCC's net neutrality decision, it would need a majority of senators and members of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of the resolution.

Tom Wheeler's net neutrality rules probably place too many restrictions on the telcos, while the so-called "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" maybe offers to much freedom to billion-dollar businesses, who haven't really earnt the trust being granted through light-touch regulation they now have.

In short, individual states are entitled to make their own regulations, assuming these new rules do not contradict the position of the FCC. The California legislature is preparing new legislation that would protect net neutrality in the nation's most populous state. Pai's move raised eyebrows, as the current or incoming FCC chair has spoken every year since 2009, and he most likely would have been put on the spot about the net-neutrality repeal.

Morfeld said the idea of reintroducing net neutrality rules at the state level received support from across the political spectrum.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting the widespread popularity of the net-neutrality rules.

The draft goes on to argue that "ISPs have strong incentives to preserve Internet openness, and these interests typically outweigh any countervailing incentives an ISP might have" furthering its argument for a light-touch approach to internet legislation. At a conference a year ago in California, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said while net neutrality is "incredibly important", it's no longer "narrowly important to us because we're big enough to get the deals we want".

The telecom industry will fight California's net neutrality legislation with everything it's got.

Netflix also followed up with an aggressive back neck to the FCC, posting to Twitter, "In 2018, the Internet is united in defense of #NetNeutrality".

Still, their financing of the IA means they're at least helping fund defense of the rules somewhat from the frontal assault by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and their new BFFs at the Federal Communications Commission.

While Democrats have reached a crucial threshold for bringing the bill to vote on the Senate floor, it's unlikely to pass since Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. With allies around the country, Courage Campaign is committed to fighting for an open Internet from Washington, DC to Sacramento-and we won't give up until we've won. Obviously the Act has been updated a couple of times, but we feel this particular extract is particularly relevant to the current net neutrality debate.

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