US states fight for net neutrality - Mobile World Live

US states fight for net neutrality

21 AUG 2018

Almost two dozen US states filed a court appeal arguing for the reinstatement of net neutrality rules, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to overhaul in December 2017.

Reuters reported a group of 22 state attorney generals asked a US appeals court to reinstate the laws, while several internet companies including Mozilla and Vimeo also filed separate legal challenges against the FCC ruling.

Under the Trump administration and led by chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC voted to reverse landmark rules implemented in 2015 which barred ISPs from blocking or throttling traffic and offering faster access to companies that paid for it.

The amended rules, which handed power back to the service providers, were put into effect in June.

Service providers are expected to disclose any changes made to their rules, but Reuters said none of the major providers have made any changes to internet access so far.

Consumer harm
In their argument, the 22 states argued the FCC’s reversal will harm consumers, while suggesting the regulator did not identify any authority for pre-empting state and local laws which would protect net neutrality.

Senators voted to retain existing laws around net neutrality in May, however this appears to be a token gesture against the proposals and its ruling is unlikely to be upheld by the House of Representatives or the White House.

The 22 states, which represent around 165 million people in total, argued reversing the rules could also harm public safety, given the effect on electrical grids for example.

“The absence of open internet rules jeopardises the ability to reduce load in times of extreme energy grid stress,” the states argued in the filing.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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