Net Neutrality Still Not Dead, FCC Awaiting OMB Approval

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The controversial Restoring Internet Freedom Order meant to be the end of the Title II protections known as net neutrality still hasn't truly gone into effect even as its "effective date" listed in the Federal Register was pinned to yesterday, April 23. The act of the Federal Communications Commission has yet to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget before the Federal Register listing will be updated with an actual date when the net neutrality repeal will move into force. It's presently unclear how close the OMB is to completing the review of the order but the fact it still hasn't done so by the act's effective data is uncharacteristic for the agency, even if it isn't unheard of.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and numerous other advocacy groups are still calling for consumers to contact their representatives and voice their support for net neutrality, noting how the Senate is only missing one extra vote to have a 51-strong majority sufficient to overturn the rule change. "If your Internet experience hasn't changed today, don't take that as a sign that ISPs aren't going to start acting differently once the rule actually does take effect," the EFF said Tuesday. While the OMB is expected to eventually greenlight the polarizing order from mid-December which was first published in the Federal Register in late February, the FCC is presently facing opposition to the move across the board, both from organizations such as the EFF and certain state governments, with California presently being the closest to enacting its own net neutrality protections.

Whether state-level regulation is even legally possible following the FCC's act remains to be resolved in the court of law as the telecom regulator's initial order already includes a stipulation against such moves, though the provision itself is now being widely interpreted as legally questionable. The vast majority of wireless carriers in the United States publicly came out in support of the Title II repeal, claiming they, too, want equal online protections for anyone but not in a manner that classifies them as utility providers and without paid prioritization being outlawed.

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