Today, the First Department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division of the State of New York held that the Federal Communications Commission has not preempted states from enforcing laws “that prevent fraud, deception and false advertising” with respect to broadband practices.
Today, June 11, marks the end of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The agency created the rules in its landmark 2015 Open Internet Order, which prevented internet service providers from blocking websites, throttling connection speeds, or engaging in paid prioritization schemes to charge for “fast lane” access. The FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, voted to repeal the rules in December 2017, ignoring millions of Americans who urged the agency to put people first by keeping the rules.
Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) filed a discharge petition to force the Senate to vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution to reinstate the agency’s net neutrality rules. The CRA would roll back the agency’s 2017 vote to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, rules which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld not once, but twice.
On April 17, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on paid prioritization -- an issue that is central to the net neutrality debate. While most internet service providers (ISPs) have claimed that they have no plans to block or degrade traffic once the Federal Communications Commission's 2017 net neutrality repeal Order goes into effect (exactly when that will be remains TBD), commitments (or lack thereof) not to engage in paid prioritization have remained a moving target. These commitments are shifting with the political winds, and ISPs are including plenty of wiggle room to allow them to argue they haven’t misled consumers if they eventually choose to offer prioritization deals.