Net neutrality has been ordered to end on April 23 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC voted in November to overturn net neutrality, rules which forbid internet service providers (ISPs) from treating certain content differently.
Without these rules, internet consumers could see a difference in their web experience when using sites like Netflix or Facebook as opposed to smaller websites. The change also means that the government will no longer regulate internet service as a utility like phone service.
The Trump administration, of course, believes that less government interference and regulation allows companies to grow and the economy to thrive. Yet many tech companies have strongly opposed the repeal of net neutrality, believing that it is necessary for a free and open internet.
Now Congress has 60 working days during which they can reverse the FCC decision under the Congressional Review Act. While it is considered a long shot, Democratic Senator Ed Markley is working to gain the votes needed.
Markley stated, “Without strong net neutrality rules, entrepreneurs, inventors, small businesses, activists and all those who rely on a free and open internet will be at the mercy of big broadband companies that can block websites, slow down traffic and charge websites fees in order to increase their profits.”
Another option elected officials have to overturn the repeal of net neutrality is to push legislation through at the state or federal level. State attorney or other groups may challenge the order in court. Many state attorneys, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, have already announced plans to do this if Markley fails to gain the necessary votes. While time is running short, consumers haven’t lost this fight yet.