States, Congress Battle FCC Over Net Neutrality End

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Dozens of attorneys general filed a petition Tuesday challenging the Federal Communication Commission’s recent decision to roll back net neutrality rules. A coalition of major tech companies has also promised court action; and Congress appears ready to take action, as well.

The petition, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, would block the rollback which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, has championed since being appointed by President Donald Trump last year. 

Last month, the commission voted 3-2 along party lines to kill net neutrality, officially known as the Open Internet Order. Before the FCC reversed the rules, net neutrality barred internet service providers from offering faster connection speeds to preferred customers.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading the group of 22 attorneys general. In a statement Tuesday, Schneiderman said he filed the complaint because the repeal is akin to turning “internet service providers into gatekeepers, allowing them to put profits over consumers whole controlling what we see, what we do and what we say online.”

“arbitrary and capricious”

Calling the reversal a “disaster,” he also dubbed the FCC’s order as “arbitrary and capricious,” adding that it violates basic stipulations laid out in the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The FCC’s new rule fails to justify the commission’s departure from its longstanding policy and practice of defending net neutrality while misinterpreting and disregarding critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses,” Schneiderman said Tuesday.

Attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia have added their names to the filing.

The FCC, which took millions of comments from the public prior to making their decision, did not immediately return request for comment Tuesday.

This is also not Schneiderman’s first run-in with the FCC over net neutrality.

His office launched a 6-month investigation of the millions of comments the commission received in the run up to the December vote. Schneiderman determined at least 2 million comments submitted were sent by individuals posing as another person.

The FCC also faces opposition from members of Congress.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., proposed a bill earlier this month challenging the reversal. Under the Congressional Review Act, and with enough votes, lawmakers could achieve a joint resolution, bypass any committee review and force a vote on the measure.

On Tuesday, all 49 Democratic senators threw their support behind Markey’s bill.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the only Republican to voice support for the measure. Only one more Republican vote is needed to secure the bill’s passage.

If passed, it would also bar the FCC from overturning net neutrality in the future. For now, the FCC’s repeal awaits approval at the Office of Management and Budget.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of HypeBot.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

Post a comment

Tags

Jazz News

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.