The Final Countdown to Net Neutrality's Death Begins Today

Net Neutrality

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

The FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order and Breitbart News's Allum Bokhari argued that, under net neutrality, content providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter have censored the Internet, stifled conservative and alternative voices, and served as a greater threat to free speech compared to ISPs.

That means proponents of the older, stronger so-called Net-neutrality rules, which include several state attorneys general and coalitions of tech companies, have about two months to prevent the new regulations from going into effect in April. If Senate Democrats succeed, a measure would still have to pass in the House of Representatives.

Attorneys general from more than 20 states have filed lawsuits to block the repeal of net neutrality, and public interest groups have filed petitions in court.

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.

The state governments "are doing what the FCC chose not to do - listening to consumers who overwhelmingly support net neutrality rules - and sending a strong message to internet service providers looking to do business in their states", says Schwantes. And even if it does, President Donald Trump would have the power to veto it. In theory, service providers could choose which companies succeed and fail. A bill that would preserve net neutrality principles in Washington state has cleared the House, 93-5, and is working its way through the Senate. Rep. AT&T, for instance, offers free streaming of its own video services, like DirecTV Now, whereas subscribers still have to pay in order to stream Hulu. Because of possible data caps enforced by the internet service providers, students may have a more hard time accessing cloud software.

But governors in Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey and NY have signed orders pledging to do business only with internet providers that abide by net neutrality rules.

It's a somewhat ironic development. Other blue states might follow suit if the repeal of net neutrality goes forward on April 23.

"We won't waste a minute in our fight to protect net neutrality because it's our mission to ensure the internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all", Mozilla wrote on its blog. At that point, ISPs and wireless carriers will no longer have to adhere to net neutrality rules that were put in place under the previous administration.

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