The real fight to restore net neutrality is about to begin soon.
The District of Columbia along with the twenty-two state attorneys general have requested a US appeals court to bring back the net neutrality rules of the previous Obama administration. These regulations have disallowed Internet Service Providers from blocking and throttling traffic or creating slow and fast lanes.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood who headed the group of state attorneys general, originally filed the lawsuit in January following the FCC’s decision in December last year to repeal net neutrality. A new brief has been filed on Tuesday (Aug. 21) stating that an unfettered and open internet is crucial to the democracy.
Underwood wrote that the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality has given internet service providers a great opportunity to prioritize their profits over consumers. It influences what people see, does, and say online at the same time.
According to a part of the brief, “For more than fifteen years, the Federal Communications Commission has agreed that an open Internet free from blocking, throttling, or other interference by service providers is critical to ensure that all Americans have access to the advanced telecommunications services that have become essential for daily life. The recent Order represents a dramatic and unjustified departure from this long-standing commitment.”
The brief also argues that the federal agency’s order is irrational and erratic since it places customers in a compromise where ISPs becomes abusive of their practices. It puts the public safety at risk and it unjustly aims to stave off state and local rules of broadband service.
The revised rules of the FCC called the Restore Internet Freedom is a huge victory for large ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Their unlawful practices have dealt with government inspection and federal agency investigations under the 2015 Open Internet Order. However, these new crafted rules are being contradicted by internet companies such as Facebook, Alphabet Google, and Amazon.com.
The coalition which is composed of 23 state Attorneys General accordingly represents more than 165 million people individuals including the state Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Delaware, New York, Mississippi, Illinois, Maryland, Iowa, Massachusetts, Kentucky, New Jersey, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Virginia, Vermont, Oregon, and Maine.
Several tech companies including Etsy, Mozilla, Vimeo, and others filed an independent court challenge on Monday (Aug. 20).
Six state governors so far have endorsed executive orders on net neutrality. Three states have enacted net neutrality rules. The states contend that the FCC has felled to determine any credible authority for preempting state and local regulations that will cushion net neutrality.
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