Tech firms, states face feds in net neutrality court battle

Tech firms, states face feds in net neutrality court battle

The challenging arguments in court against FCC are highly technical.

Tech companies and almost two dozen US states have clashed with the government in federal court over the repeal of net neutrality, a set of rules aimed at preventing big internet providers from discriminating against certain technology and services.

Obama's FCC had imposed a strict set of regulations on Internet providers to ensure they wouldn't be able to prioritize certain websites and apps over others. The FCC chairman at that time, Tom Wheeler, had stated that no individual or group should be allowed to control the freedom and openness to access the internet. Various consumer groups, Democratic-led states, and technology companies expressed their dissent against this decision openly. It therefore should be regulated as an information service and not subject to the utility-style oversight of phone companies, he said.

"Open access for internet users is a core digital free expression issue". The case also helps pave the way for these necessary legal fights to protect (and hopefully resurrect) a free and open internet. The FCC defended its decision to revoke the rules.

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Twitter re-upped its support for net neutrality Friday as supporters for the controversial policy prepare to challenge the Trump administration in court for dinging the Obama-era internet regulation.

Markey, who has long advocated for open internet rules, said Friday that the FCC "ignored" the Communications Act and Congress's intent when it repealed the rules. More than 20 million public comments were filed with the FCC - a lot of them arguing against repealing the rules - though many of those were later discovered to be fake, NPR reported. The legal counsel of public radio system, NPR, also filed comments with the FCC on behalf of NPR in opposition of the FCC's repeal decision. But when Donald Trump became president, the political balance of the communications agency changed. Since the repeal of the Obama-era rule took effect in June 2018, internet speed went from 12th to 6th fastest in the world, according to media reports.

Johnson conceded that providers could block or throttle traffic under the FCC rules but said it was unlikely. "The Internet was not broken", Pai said, as reported by NPR.

The Democratic takeover of the House in November's midterm elections could revive efforts to enshrine net neutrality in federal law, though Trump likely would veto any such attempts. "Except that here, there was no flea". The new regulations would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Comcast and Spectrum, among others, to give preferential treatment to certain types of content and charge more for certain types of traffic. Pai also wrote that the Federal Trade Commission could ensure consistent safeguarding of Americans throughout the Internet economy.

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