AGs refile challenge to net neutrality repeal

FCC reversal of net neutrality rules expected to be published Thursday: sources

The coalition, lead by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, filed a lawsuit in January to block the repeal of the rules but agreed to withdraw it Friday and wait for the FCC's publication.

Today, the FCC's so-called "Restoring Internet Freedom Order", which repealed the net neutrality protections the FCC had previously created with the 2015 Open Internet Order, has been officially published. The resolution's passage would undo the FCC's December 14 decision.

Among the states that have filed charges are California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The attorneys general argue that the FCC can not make "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policies and that it misinterpreted and disregarded "critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses".

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was honoured at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hills, Maryland, by the NRA with the "Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award", an honor named for the late actor who was an NRA president. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect. Should it pass, Markey's resolution would also bar the FCC from attempting to repeal net neutrality again in the future. This means providers can't offer their own properties at faster speeds than others and essentially treats them as telecommunications companies.

As it now stands net neutrality ensures that internet providers won't be able to block or limit access to content by offering paid workarounds.

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Customers of streaming services like Netflix could see their subscription fees rise if the company chooses to pay more. One more vote is a national campaign to keep the internet open with net neutrality. Senate Democrats are now just one vote from overcoming a Republican majority.

However, if the vote reversal fails to gain the needed votes, it is likely to pushed through anyway because of a likely veto by President Donald Trump.

Under net neutrality, internet service providers must allow equal access to web content, regardless of the source.

The order has galvanized everyone from consumer advocacy groups and attorneys to technology companies and citizen activists. If legal challenges (like the one being conducted by the attorney general of New York) fail to halt the repeal, USA citizens will have to wait until 2020 to vote out Trump and install a new president who will be favorable toward the return of net neutrality.

Many states, most recently Vermont and OR, have also introduced legislation to uphold the net neutrality principle.

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