The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called for fresh comment on its decision to ditch net neutrality protections in 2017, after a court ordered it to assess potential negative impacts of the move.
Specifically, the FCC said it is seeking input on how the rule change may have affected public safety, regulation of access to utility infrastructure and funding for the Lifeline broadband subsidy programme, a government scheme offering contributions towards broadband fees to people on low incomes.
Comments are due by 30 March, with replies to be filed by 29 April.
In a statement, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said people who were dissatisfied with the regulator’s repeal of net neutrality rules should use the comment period to “make noise” and “let Washington know how important an open internet is for every piece of our civic and commercial lives”.
The request for feedback comes after a court in October 2019 largely upheld the FCC’s decision to scrap rules which barred internet service providers from blocking, throttling or offering paid prioritisation. However, it asked the FCC to review the order’s impact on the aforementioned areas, finding it failed to do so previously.
Opponents of the FCC’s net neutrality decision argued in court paid prioritisation could hinder the ability of emergency workers and the general public to communicate during crisis situations.