Net Neutrality Repeal Published in Federal Register

Minor portions of the repeal take affect April 23, but lawsuits to overturn the repeal can get started this month.

by Benny Evangelista, San Francisco Chronicle / February 22, 2018
Protesters advocating for net neutrality rally outside the headquarters of the Comcast Corporation in Philadelphia, Saturday, January 13, 2018. Shutterstock

(TNS) — The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday formally published its reversal of net neutrality regulations, returning to a “light-touch” form of regulation of Internet service companies that will mostly take effect April 23.

The FCC voted 3-2 in December to rescind Obama-era regulations that required equal access to the Internet, but published its final ruling, called the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, in the Federal Register.

The commission turned back its regulations to a “light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the Internet to develop and thrive for nearly two decades,” the final ruling said. “The Commission restores the classification of broadband Internet access service as a lightly-regulated information service and reinstates the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service.”

Big Internet companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast supported the repeal, saying net neutrality regulations added unnecessary layers of laws governing the industry.

But the action now turns to Congress, where Senate Democrats are mounting a push to get both houses to override the FCC’s ruling, and to various states, including California, where state representatives, attorneys general and governors have introduced laws, lawsuits and executive orders that could mandate net neutrality policies within their borders.

©2018 the San Francisco Chronicle Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.