Generally, when you get dunked on by everyone from governors to Burger King, it’s a good idea to listen. The FCC, led by Ajit Pai, however, is still going ahead with its attempt to undo regulations around net neutrality by publishing the regulations that’ll rescind it. So what does that mean for you?
Mostly, it starts a legal clock. Once a regulation hits the Federal Register, those opposed to it have ten days to file lawsuits with the courts over it. As we’ve discussed, there are quite a few legal points that states, interest groups, and others will object to. Outside of that, however, there are two other issues the FCC has tripped over. The first is that New York is suing the FCC over its refusal to cooperate with its investigation into the mass-scale identity theft a spambot engaged to to promote anti-net-neutrality views. The second is that within that sixty-day window, Congress might derail the FCC’s plans by either ordering the agency to undo its regulations or passing a net neutrality law itself.
The main effect of all of this is that likely, net neutrality will remain in place for now. This is just the first step of an enormous legal battle that could stretch out for years. The court may issue a “stay,” meaning that the FCC can’t implement their lack of rules while the case is unfolding, but that stay could be the whole set of regulations or just portions of it. Similarly, by the time this all wraps up, the FCC’s new rules might only be partially overruled. And, court proceedings being what they are, this might stretch on for years.
That said, keep up the pressure on your representatives, from your mayor to your senator, if you want to protect net neutrality. And don’t forget, if private companies won’t keep the internet a fair playing field, there are other options, like public broadband, that will.