Net Neutrality Rules Officially Expire Today
American consumers are no longer protected by the net neutrality regulations put in place in 2015 by the Obama administration. The rules were voted down by the Republican-led FCC in December 2017 and effectively evaporate today. The outgoing regulations classified broadband under Title II and created bright-line rules governing how internet traffic was to be treated. For example, internet providers were not allowed to throttle or block services, or offer paid fast lanes. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai maintains that these rules were overly burdensome to businesses and reduced investment in the space. Moving forward, broadband is once again classified as a service, not a utility, and will not be managed by such strict rules. Instead, Pai expects the industry to be open about policies and govern itself. Though the rules are officially no more, many are fighting to keep net neutrality alive. The FCC is under legal assault from public interest groups, the attorneys general from more than 20 states, as well as groups of businesses. A handful of states have introduced their own legislation that would re-enable net neutrality at a state level, in effect forcing broadband providers to adhere to rules if they wish to do business with state and local governments. Senate Democrats forced a vote in favor of keeping net neutrality in place, but the issue was not take up by the Republican Congress nor President Trump. It's not yet clear what impact these legal battles will have or whether they'll be able to restore net neutrality in some form. Net neutrality's story is not over yet.
Oct 26, 2018
California today said it has agreed not to enforce its own net neutrality law until a final decision is reached concerning the FCC's scrapping of Obama-era regulations. In December 2017, the FCC voted to get rid of the previous administration's net neutrality rules, which classified broadband as a utility under Title II and set bright line rules regarding internet traffic.
Nov 5, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider a 2016 verdict over net neutrality, leaving the initial ruling intact.
Oct 12, 2018
The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court to reject a lawsuit that challenges the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules. The FCC voted in December 2017 to nix the Obama-era rules, and the change went into effect in June.
Oct 1, 2018
California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sunday that made net neutrality the law, but the state was quickly sued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Nov 14, 2018
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, wants Congress to prevent states from enacting their own net neutrality and privacy laws. "There are a number of states that are now passing their own legislation around privacy and, by the way, net neutrality."