FCC Officially Repeals Obama-Era Net Neutrality Order

Net Neutrality
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially repealed the agency’s Obama-era 2015 net neutrality order on Monday.

In December, the FCC passed the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” which repealed the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality regulation. The FCC published the regulation in the Federal Register in February, which started a 60-day timeline for the rule to take effect on Monday.

Net neutrality passed under former Democrat FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015. The rule, known as the Open Internet Order, reclassified the internet as a public monopoly. Critics chided the rule, stating that it would diminish the freedom of the Internet. Proponents argue that the regulations prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against content providers.

The Restoring Internet Freedom Order will reclassify the Internet as an “information service” and will require that Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast or Verizonto  release transparency reports detailing their practices on blocking, throttling, and data prioritization for consumers and businesses.

The FCC’s net neutrality repeal order will also restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) traditional authority and expertise to regulate and litigate unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive telecommunications practices without onerous regulations and increased cost.

Robert McChesney, a founder of Free Press, once said, “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.” McChesney was cited 46 times in the net neutrality order.

FCC Chairman Pai observed the internet prospered before the FCC enacted net neutrality in 2015. Pai said, “The Internet is the greatest free-market success in American history.”

The publication of the Internet Freedom Order sets a significant milestone in the battle over net neutrality. Twenty-one states, led by California, can now sue the FCC to try to block the FCC’s implementation of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

Senate Democrats will also try to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to pass a resolution in Congress’ upper chamber to keep the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed in January that they have a 50-vote majority in the Senate to override the FCC’s recent repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality order. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) signaled in January that she will side with the Democrats to vote for the CRA resolution to keep net neutrality.

Annie Clark, Collins’ spokeswoman, told the Hill in January, “Senator Collins does not support the FCC’s recent decision to repeal net neutrality rules, and she will support Senator Markey’s legislation that would overturn the FCC’s vote.”


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