FCC Facing 12 Lawsuits Targeting Net Neutrality Repeal

The United States Federal Communications Commission is now facing twelve lawsuits against its net neutrality repeal in total, with the legal challenges to the polarizing mid-December order being filed with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit court was picked to hear all cases following a traditional draft, as well as a decision to merge all cases into one due to the fact they're essentially identical, with opponents of the move arguing the FCC's net neutrality repeal is anti-consumer and infringes on state rights by attempting to prevent state governments from taking the matter of protecting the open Internet into their own hands.

Following the official publication of the controversial Restoring Internet Freedom act in late February, all stateside actors were given 60 days to file legal challenges to the decision, meaning more lawsuits may emerge until next month, though all are expected to be consolidated like the initial twelve complaints. The competent court is expected to decide on the schedule for resolving the disputes by early May, with some industry watchers predicting the final verdict on the matter may be given in the spring of 2019. The net neutrality repeal will officially enter into force on April 23, two months after the publication of the FCC's decision in the Federal Register.

Both the opponents to the repeal and some Internet service providers that welcomed it are now advocating for a congressional intervention, having repeatedly asked Capitol Hill to enact firm net neutrality regulations on a national level. While similar on the surface, the two agendas are still opposing each other when it comes to the actual contents of a hypothetical net neutrality bill, with AT&T and its supporters insisting on legislation that wouldn't prevent ISPs from selling prioritized traffic and asking for a universal set of rules meant to be followed by both websites and network operators. Most Silicon Valley giants and small business owners continue to oppose both points, claiming ISPs must be regulated more heavily because they aren't faced with nearly as much competition as websites are.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]