USA states sue to reverse repeal of net-neutrality rules

Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday announced a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), challenging its attempt to repeal net neutrality rules.

Kentucky is one of 22 states suing the Federal Communications Commission over its planned rollback of net neutrality changes.

Calling the reversal a "disaster", he also dubbed the FCC's order as "arbitrary and capricious", adding that it violates basic stipulations laid out in the Administrative Procedure Act. But it's generally assumed a government agency would not go to the trouble to spend six years crafting a net neutrality proposal that it defended as a necessary and core component of ensuring the internet remained accessible at a reasonable price to all Americans, only to turn around and say "yeah, we don't agree any longer", when a member of the opposite political party is elected.

The repeal might lead to providers offering consumers access to certain websites for extra pay or charging Internet companies that use up more traffic than others, such as Netflix or YouTube, extra.

Democrats have chose to attempt to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify the repeal of net neutrality, and they are surprisingly close to making it through the Senate.

First approved by the FCC in 2015, the net neutrality rules require internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to treat all online content the same. While he favors a free and open internet, Pai claims the guidelines do more harm than good, while hindering both consumers and corporations.

So there's still little chance this move will be successful in restoring net neutrality. In a statement Tuesday, Schneiderman said he filed the complaint because the repeal is akin to turning "internet service providers into gatekeepers, allowing them to put profits over consumers whole controlling what we see, what we do and what we say online".

According to the Washington Post, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, "With full caucus support, it's clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the Internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options".

In addition to NY, other states that have joined the lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. That's the question at the heart of net neutrality, and here's everything you need to know about it. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from ME, also supports the bill, setting the stage for a 50-50 tie vote that would have to be broken by Vice President Mike Pence.

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