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FCC & Net Neutrality: Let the Real Rumble Begin


It looks like it is finally going to happen. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally gotten their net neutrality regulations through the bureaucratic mess, and now it [IS] only a matter of times before they start to take effect.

The National Journal reports:

Open Internet regulations, or network-neutrality rules, have cleared the final regulatory hurdle before getting on the books, a Federal Communications Commission spokesman said on Monday.

The rules, which limit how cable and phone companies can treat legal Internet traffic, are strongly opposed by Republicans in Congress, who have unsuccessfully attempted to repeal them on several occasions.

The FCC passed the regulations in December over Republican objections, creating the defining saga of commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s tenure so far and fulfilling an Obama campaign promise.

The Office of Management and Budget, which had a procedural role in OK’ing the regulations thanks to the Paperwork Reduction Act, had to review new data-collection responsibilities that the rules apply to Internet service firms. “OMB signed off late Friday,” an FCC spokesman said in an e-mail.

Now the net neutrality rules will head to the Federal Register and [TO] be published within one to three weeks. Following that, it will be another 60 days after they are published before they go into effect.

Can someone start the countdown? Within the next few months the real fight over net neutrality is going to commence and rightly so.

Verizon Wireless and Metro PCS are expected to challenge the legality of this net neutrality regulation. They filed lawsuits in January when the regulations were first approved, but they were thrown out of court because the rules hadn’t gone into effect yet.

As we have previously reported, Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell believes that “there is a better than average chance” that the court will deem these regulations illegal.

If that isn’t enough and as we have also previously reported, House Republican have made attempts in the past to defund the FCC in part to prevent them from implementing net neutrality. It is for sure that if the courts fail to step in the GOP will make another attempt at defunding the FCC.

Net Neutrality is bad policy that will hurt consumers and frankly is down right illegal. Hopefully with an all-hands-on-deck approach, we can come together to stop net neutrality as quickly as possible.

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