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What’s Next for Net Neutrality?

by Countable | 12.14.17

What’s the story?

The Federal Communications Commission, led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, voted to repeal its net neutrality rules. But, as Wired pointed out, this move "won’t end the fight over rules that prohibit internet service providers from creating fast lanes for some content, while blocking or throttling others."

Here’s how the fight can continue—and how you can join the battle, no matter which side you’re on.

Legal Challenges

Advocacy group Free Press has already announced it’s "suing the FCC over its shameful decision to destroy the Net Neutrality rules."

"Let us be clear: Ajit Pai will not have the last word on Net Neutrality."

The group writes that it intends to "sue the FCC on the basis of its broken process, deeply flawed legal reasoning, willful rejection of evidence that contradicts its preordained conclusions, and absolute disregard for public input. We have a very strong case in court."

Additional organizations and individuals have also pledged to sue the FCC, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

Congress & Net Neutrality Legislation

Save Net Neutrality Act

In December, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Save Net Neutrality Act. While the bill went nowhere, there have been renewed calls for Congress to get involved.

And on Tuesday, over 35 Senate Democrats and two independents sent a letter to Pai, urging him to abandon his proposal, which they called a "stunning regulatory overreach."

Want the Save Net Neutrality Act to be revisited? Let your reps know your thoughts on that bill here.

Republicans Enter the Debate

Also on Tuesday, Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota asked for net neutrality supporters on "both sides of the aisle" to work with him on a legislative solution.

"Congressional action is the only way to solve the endless back and forth on net neutrality rules that we’ve seen over the past several years," Thune said.

Though Thune supported Pai’s proposal, the South Dakota senator said he’s open to a compromise:

"If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and those who claim to support net neutrality rules want to enshrine protections for consumers with the backing of the law, I call on you today to join me in discussing legislation that would do just that."

And hours before Thursday’s vote, Maine senators Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, asked the FCC to cancel their vote to give Congress time to hold public hearings.

In a letter to Pai, the Maine senators wrote:

"This is a matter of enormous importance with significant implications for our entire economy, and therefore merits the most thorough, deliberate, and thoughtful process that can be provided," Collins and King wrote. "The process thus far in this important matter has not met that standard."

The 2020 Election

Pai and the FCC’s two other GOP members voted to enact the Restoring Internet Freedom act. The two Democrat commissioners both dissented.

Pai was appointed by President Donald Trump, but a left-leaning president could appoint a Democratic chairman to put net neutrality protections back in place.

What do you think?

Want Congress to pass net neutrality legislation? Hit Take Action and let your reps know your thoughts, then comment below. And make sure to share your thoughts with Ajit Pai using our widget.

(Don’t blame Pai if you can’t see the widget—it’s not available on iPhone, but you can access it on the Countable website.)

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: franckreporter / iStockphoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(149)
  • Mike
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Just remember: it ain't over till it's over. There's a strong Constitutional argument in favor of Net Neutrality even if Congress can't shield it. And it is my hope that Congress will pay attention to the people for fear of their seats. I haven't seen the stats, but I'm pretty sure a vast majority of Americans support Net Neutrality. Trust the Constitution and press our reps for what we want.

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  • Stephanie
    12/14/2017
    ···

    The FCC vote to destroy the Net Neutrality protections on Dec. 14 cannot stand. I’m calling on Congress to work with your colleagues to use the Congressional Review Act to pass a "resolution of disapproval" reversing the FCC's vote. The FCC's Dec. 14 decision willfully ignored the outcry from tens of millions of people, and it abdicated the FCC's responsibility to protect the internet from ISP blocking and discrimination. The FCC has injured our economy and free speech in just one action, all without so much as a single public hearing. We need members of Congress to stand up for the open internet and for the digital civil rights of their constituents now. Please use the CRA to pass a Resolution of Disapproval to overturn the FCC's December 14 "Restoring Internet Freedom" vote.

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  • Elizabeth
    12/14/2017
    ···

    Net neutrality is a safeguard for US citizens! If this is repealed, the gap between rich and poor, fortunate and unfortunate will only grow. Please vote to keep net neutrality laws in place!

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  • Jenna
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Net neutrality is a bipartisan issue. Democrats are certainly in favor of it and recent polls have shown two thirds of republicans are as well. The repeal of net neutrality will lead to the virtual monopolization of the internet, and this will reduce competition and innovation. I call on my reps, John Katko in the house and Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the senate to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality in accordance with the will of the American people.

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  • James
    12/14/2017
    ···

    I can’t possibly fathom why the Government would repeal Net Neutrality. As a tax paying citizen it only seems as if our Government wants to gouge us for more money, especially taking into consideration the tax plan you’ve come up with. Word of advice, history repeats itself because of the lack of ability for people to work together for the greater good of everyone. With that being said, take a long hard look at what political leaders were overthrown and even removed from life itself due to their greed and lack of empathy for basic human life and rights.

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  • Chase
    12/14/2017
    ···

    Friends, countrymen; it was a pleasure living in what was once a free nation with you all. Today was the first step towards a corporately owned America. Our voices have fallen on deaf ears, and we must strive to remove those that have neglected the purpose of their position. Today, marks another step towards Trump’s America.

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  • Dave
    12/14/2017
    ···

    What is next with out net neutrality, dictatorship, no first amendment, no freedom, no transparency, censorship, no freedom of the press, control of every aspect of you life, being brainwashed by corporations, people will only get what corporations want you to know and believe, the end of democracy as you know it, a new form of slavery be side economics and your guns will be next. Your guns will not help you. This maybe the last post I and you will be able to post, if it not deleted and censors.

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  • SirRobert
    12/15/2017
    ···

    NET NEUTRALITY: I DEMAND an investigation into the corruption behind this committee! 85% if Americans Democrats and Republicans have spoken out against dissolution and Pai is pushing this thru?!!! This stinks to high heaven of bribery!

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  • NoHedges
    12/14/2017
    ···

    Welcome to the NEW USSR. And the unveiling of a new and improved iron curtain with a titanium corporate core.

    Like (8)
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  • Chase
    12/14/2017
    ···

    The irony that the photo here is of cell phones when cellular networks were excluded from NN in the first place. That’s why you were to get unlimited streaming and throttling after certain GB usage on some carriers.

    Like (7)
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  • Michael
    12/14/2017
    ···

    Eliminating NN is an open invitation to censorship. Plain and simple. Can’t let that happen.

    Like (6)
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  • Victor
    12/14/2017
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    Wow I am so disappointed with the vote just taking freedom away from us and money out of own wallets to receive websites that we had in the past. This is not for the people this is for the big businesses and against the small businesses.

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  • Jacob
    12/14/2017
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    You can not eliminate net neutrality. This is an infringement of freedom of speech

    Like (4)
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  • Misszoelynn
    12/14/2017
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    Keep the Net Neutrality regulations in place. They protect everyone from being taken advantage of by one greedy person.

    Like (4)
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  • Christine
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Representative and Senators please take up legislation to reverse this decision. 83% of Americans are against this repeal of net neutrality. NY Attorney General is suing the FCC for moving on this despite the fake 2 million statements in favor using stolen American identities. Please act on this.

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  • colemannation
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Net neutrality reflects the will of the people and creates the platform from which democracy flourishes. It’s repeal is a moral and ethical outrage.

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  • Barbara
    12/14/2017
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    The internet is ours to keep, not yours to take! Our children use it for research, families use it to stay in touch. Small business uses it to compete . Political action is protected freedom of speech and this is the Blackfoot for Trump to shut up all opposing positions!!! We will not tolerate this. It’s Unconstitutional anyhow!! Greed is going to take Republicans down. Taking our free speech will create your demise in politics. Democrats who went along with this sold us out. Stop this now. We will not be silenced.

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  • Martin
    12/14/2017
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    I don’t want net neutrality repealed! This doesn’t benefit anyone but internet companies that are doing just fine as is. Rings of corruption!

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  • ericdmrtnz
    12/14/2017
    ···

    The repeal of net neutrality rules is concerning and I want to voice my concern about the outcome of today's vote. Please do everything you can to overturn today's decision. Also, please more transparent about how much funding you've received from companies that benefit from today's vote repealing net neutrality.

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  • Noelle
    12/14/2017
    ···

    SUE PAI! Sue all of the FCC that abandoned the n.n rules!

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