Wednesday, January 17, 2018

22 Blue States File Suit To Block Net Neutrality Repeal

A group of 22 Democratic state attorneys general, including those from California and New York, filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of tough net neutrality rules for online traffic.

According to The LATimes, the suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, argues that the vote last month along party lines by the Republican-controlled FCC was an “arbitrary and capricious” change to regulations enacted by Democrats in 2015.

Those rules were designed to ensure the uninhibited flow of online content. They prohibited AT&T Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other broadband and wireless internet service providers from selling faster delivery of certain data, slowing speeds for specific video streams and other content, and blocking or otherwise discriminating against any legal online material.

The repeal of the net neutrality rules was pushed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican picked by Trump last year to lead the agency.

Most Republicans in Congress and telecommunications companies strongly opposed the regulations, which classified broadband as a more highly regulated utility-like service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

They argued the tougher oversight led to reduced investment in broadband networks — a point net neutrality supporters dispute.

A spokesman for Pai declined to comment on the attorneys general suit.

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