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

Steve Phelps
January 17, 2018

"The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers-allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online".

Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing today's lawsuit were the Attorneys General of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. "We will do everything we can to defend our vibrant internet economy and consumer choice from the FCC's attempt to curtail net neutrality". The White House has said it supports the FCC's efforts to roll back regulations.

The FCC voted in December along party lines to reverse rules introduced in 2015 that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

A spokeswoman for the FCC declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The report notes that Schneiderman called the FCC's repeal of net neutrality "arbitrary" and "capricious", and said it violates federal law. The Senate said its resolution of disapproval through the Congressional Review Act had 50 signatures-just one vote shy of passing it. The rule is not expected to take effect for several months, but soon after that vote, state attorneys general pledged to sue the commission.

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Doyle's bill, which will also need a majority to pass, has 82 co-sponsors.

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

The decision to overturn Net Neutrality has significant implications for businesses that use internet services and for service providers delivering their platforms and services to others.

In New York, a bill would bar the state from contracting with broadband companies that don't follow net-neutrality principles. Another is similar in its approach to the NY bill, predicating state contracts and local cable franchises to companies following net-neutrality policies.

The potential for a legal showdown comes as federal and state lawmakers are looking for legislative solutions.

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