Although the FCC has done all it can to kill net neutrality across the US, nearly two dozen states are not giving up the fight quite yet.
In a rare show of massive solidarity, the attorneys general (AGs) from 22 states and the District of Columbia, representing 165 million people, are suing to block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's "Restoring Internet Freedom" order, which eliminated the strict net neutrality rules enacted by the agency during the Obama administration three years ago.
The rollback -- led by former Verizon lawyer and current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai -- takes away the 2015 Title II classification of Internet service as a "common carrier" service. Without that regulatory safeguard in place, cable operators, telecom carriers and other ISPs can now arbitrarily block or slow down content they don't like, as long as they document and disclose what they're doing. (See FCC Nixes Net Neutrality Rules on June 11 and Court Puts FTC Back in Net Neutrality Mix.)
The attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia all joined together in the suit, which was filed late Monday.
"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 brief filed by the states' AGs said. "The recent Order represents a dramatic and unjustified departure from this long-standing commitment."
For more on this story, please turn to our parent site, Light Reading. (See States Challenge FCC 'Internet Freedom' Order.)
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading