Netpocolyps is still unfolding, and the ramifications of peeling away one set of regs that may, theoretically, have kept another set of regs at bay are still unfolding. At long last, the FCC order repealing Net Neutrality has been published, with mega platforms like Netflix and Google lining up to sue the Federal government for ending regulations.
It’s not at all clear to me what “legal” grounds these companies have to sue the Federal government to continue to (allegedly) force companies to provide services and price those services in a certain way, but apparently, that’s what we do now, we sue.
Mind you, none of these folks are significantly devoting their attention to the root of the problem, state and local regulations that give state protection to ISPs, enabling them to have monopolies that give them the power to do things Net Neutrality is designed to stop them from doing (allegedly).
The brief reprieve from net neutrality headlines that the holiday brought came to an end Thursday evening as the FCC unveiled the actual order it adopted Dec 14 that releases ISPs from Title II regulation. Regulatory observers we spoke with Friday didn’t spot any surprises in the more-than-500-page document, which eliminated the bright line rules of no blocking, throttling or paid prioritization.
Think tank TechFreedom said the agency seems to have mainly added footnotes to address issues raised in last-minute ex parte filings. Reaction was swift and as expected. The Internet Association said it intends to file legal action against the order and “will continue our push to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality protections through a legislative solution.”
IA member Netflix took to Twitter with the message: “In 2018, the Internet is united in defense of #NetNeutrality. As for the FCC, we will see you in court.” The order doesn’t go into effect until it’s published in the Federal Register, which will take months since OMB must approve it. That could mean a brief respite before we see a lawsuit filed. In 2011, a federal appeals court rejected Verizon’s lawsuit over the FCC’s Open Internet rules, agreeing with the agency that the telco was premature in filing before the rules were even published in the Federal Register.