The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality – What Happens Now?

On Thursday, December 14th 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the regulations of Net Neutrality. The 3-2 vote was spearheaded by FCC Chairman and former Verizon Attorney, Ajit Pai.

Pai has been the target of much rightful scrutiny since his appointment at the start of the year by President Donald Trump for holding incredibly anti-consumer stances when it comes to ISP regulation – dare we say he’s in their pocket?

But now, after all the hubbub over the vote subsided, after millions of people took to online forums and the FCC’s site to file complaints which fell on deaf ears, the FCC has declared its intent to move forward with the repeal of Net Neutrality.

So, what happens next? Is the fight for our beloved internet over? Absolutely not – it’s only just beginning. What is likely to happen next is that the entire process is going to under an immense amount of litigation. Several Attorney Generals have already moved forward to challenge the FCC’s decision – among which the most prominent is Ney York’s Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman recently issued a statement regarding his challenge toward the FCC leadership, stating that he will be leading the multi-state coalition against the FCC:

“We will be filing a claim to preserve protections for New Yorkers and all Americans. And we’ll be working aggressively to stop the FCC’s leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and to our economy.

Today’s new rule would enable ISPs to charge consumers more to access sites like Facebook and Twitter and give them the leverage to degrade high quality of video streaming until and unless somebody pays them more money.

Even worse, today’s vote would enable ISPs to favor certain viewpoints over others.” – Eric Schneiderman

Although states like Washington have issued statements against the FCC’s decision, the full tally remains unknown – perhaps best given the time needed to mount an effective case against the Pai and his cronies.

The most upsetting part of this entire ordeal comes not from the FCC’s hell-bent demeanor to dismantle Net Neutrality, but from the massive telecom companies that are still looking for chinks in the armor to slip through. For years, the likes of Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have tried to get a one-up on the competition by locking out the market in their respective sectors – remember the failed Time-Warner merger?

The only solution to keep these companies from attempting to do the same thing over and over is to break them up as monopolies have been dealt with in the past. Unfortunately, that would depend on a federal government that is willing to restrain and regulate these businesses rather than let them run amok at the expense of the public.

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