Net neutrality could still be saved as US politicians launch legal fights against FCC vote result

US politicians are exploring ways to reverse this week's decision

Aatif Sulleyman
Friday 15 December 2017 12:39 GMT
Net Neutrality: Ajit Pai and FCC scraps online regulation changing how the internet works

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to kill off net neutrality, but there’s a chance it could still be saved.

Politicians across the US have already made it clear that they intend to fight this week’s decision, which was proposed by President Trump-appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and further resistance is expected to be announced over the coming days.

Shortly after the vote, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his intention to sue, in order to stop what he called “the FCC’s illegal rollback” of net neutrality.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is also going to challenge the decision.

“I am announcing my intention to file a legal challenge to the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality, along with attorneys general across the country,” he said.

California State Senator Scott Wiener says he's exploring ways to preserve net neutrality in California.

“In January when the State Legislature reconvenes, I will introduce legislation to require net neutrality in California,” he said.

He added: “There are several ways we can bring net neutrality to California. California can regulate business practices to require net neutrality, condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality, and require net neutrality as part of cable franchise agreements, as a condition to using the public right-of-way for internet infrastructure, and in broadband packages.”

As expected, the FCC voted 3-2 in favour of repealing the Obama-era protections this week. The rules prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, throttling or prioritising legal content.

The result of the vote represents a huge victory for ISPs, which no longer have to treat all internet traffic equally.

Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is joining the fight against the decision too. He said, “I plan to take legal action to protect consumers and block this move by the FCC.”

Furthermore, Senator Ed Markey has said that he will introduce a resolution calling for a Congressional Review Act over the FCC decision. If taken up, Congress would then review the FCC decision.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in