IT&Software

Net Neutrality repeal effective starting on April 23

Net Neutrality repeal effective starting on April 23

America's net neutrality rules are set to end in April after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal them late previous year, according to an order filed Thursday with the Federal Register.

"An open internet - and the free exchange of ideas it allows - is critical to our democratic process", New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman noted in a press release.

Starting now, Congress has 60 "session days" to pass a resolution reversing the FCC's decision. "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".

The rule was also unlawful because it includes "sweeping preemption of state and local laws", he said.

The landmark net neutrality rules had been delivered under the former Obama administration, and essentially it barred service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.

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Mignon Clyburn, one of the two Democractic FCC commissioners who has fought for net neutrality, said she is "both disappointed and hopeful". Without these rules, Internet service providers may force websites to pay fees for faster Internet speeds, while limiting consumers' ability to access the Internet content of their choice. "The FCC is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law and it deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined and ultimately reversed".

Despite Democrats opposing the repeal, congressional experts believe such an intervention is unlikely since Democrats would need to gain the support of at least one more GOP senator. However, the chances of preserving net neutrality via the Congressional Review Act seem slim.

Even if repeal opponents do comprise a majority in the Senate, any resolution they pass must then go before the members of the House of Representatives, who will likely shoot it down. As part of the final order, the FCC asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

In addition to NY, attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington joined Thursday's petition.


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