More than 20 states sue to stop FCC's net neutrality repeal

Gladys Abbott
January 17, 2018

A coalition of 22 Democratic state attorneys general are asking a USA court to reinstate the so-called net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission last month.

While polls show that net neutrality rules have majority support from both Democratic and Republican voters, US Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) wants Republicans to reject Markey's proposal.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has said the repeal of would have "lasting negative impacts for our economy and nearly every aspect of our lives and would "incentivize Big Cable over other companies".

The resolution would then need to be approved by the House of Representatives, which could be more of an uphill battle.

"The longer this sort of thing drags out and the more it looks like Democrats might have the votes in the Senate, the harder it is to get Democrats in the Senate to work with us", Thune said last week, according to Politico. And they're slated to have the support of tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google in the fight, as Recode previously reported.

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The vote in December marked a victory for AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and handed them power over what content consumers can access on the internet. That's a step in the right direction, but with a Republican-controlled House and Donald Trump in the White House, it nearly certainly won't lead to legislative victory for net neutrality.

In anticipation of an FCC argument that today's petitions are premature, those making the challenge point to the rush to court and the FCC's ultimate semi-acceptance back in 2015 when the FCC was on the verge of publishing its "open internet" rules.

Supporters of the rule change argue that it will benefit consumers by spurring more competition between broadband providers and cutting Internet providers' expenses.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, a Republican, said in an interview on Tuesday he planned to hold a hearing on paid prioritization. The suit alleges that the decision by the FCC was an abuse of discretion and that it violated the U.S. Constitution and the Communications Act of 1934. "The resolution aims to reverse the FCC's decision and block the agency from passing similar measures in the future".

Paid prioritization is part of American life, Walden said.

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