States dig their heels in over FCC's net neutrality reversal

Nick Sanchez
January 9, 2018

Adding that it would continue to push for legislation to restore "strong, enforceable net neutrality protections through a legislative solution".

Senate Democrats who are trying to force a vote on reinstating net neutrality rules have hit a key milestone. As the FCC's ruling still is more than 60 days from being official, Senators seeking to overturn the controversial party-lines decision have gotten enough co-sponsors on a net neutrality restoration joint resolution to force a full Senate vote.

The resolution was drafted under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the authority to overturn new regulations issued by federal agencies with a simple-majority vote in both houses. Previously a seldom used, obscure law, the CRA was used multiple times by Congress past year to overturn regulations issued in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Thirty senators have now signed on to cosponsor a resolution that would nullify the repeal, MA senator Ed Markey announced Monday on Twitter.

"Your proposal threatens to eliminate the FCC's oversight role that has been in place for decades under both Democratic and Republican presidents", said Senator of Colorado, Michael Bennet.

"We need common rules of the road that apply evenly to all players in the internet ecosystem", the paper states, adding that the net neutrality rules only applied to retail broadband providers and not major companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook. None of them are Republicans. This comes as some individual USA states are mulling their own laws to protect network neutrality, a move Big Cable is fighting to shut down.

Morfeld said the idea of reintroducing net neutrality rules at the state level received support from across the political spectrum.

Amid the harsh criticism of the repeal from consumer groups including Free Press, Pai on Wednesday pulled out of a planned appearance at this week's CES tech industry convention after reportedly receiving death threats.

State legislators in Washington and California have said that they'd introduce local regulations that would introduce some net neutrality protections, but the FCC's latest set of rules includes a ban on local legislation that's stricter than their own, which means those bills could face legal challenges if they happen to pass. With the FCC's just-published order, net neutrality is no longer the law.

For his part, FCC chairmain Ajit Pai continued to make the same arguments he has made for several months over why the rules repeal was necessary.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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