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Internet Regulation, Buh-Bye

The FCC was mostly lawful in repealing net neutrality, an appeals court rules
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2019 1:17 PM CDT
In this Dec. 7, 2017, file photo, demonstrators rally in support of net neutrality outside a Verizon store in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(Newser) – Net neutrality champions suffered a major blow Tuesday—but not a total loss. A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC's decision to ditch net neutrality rules in 2017 was in fact lawful, the Washington Post reports. But the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also said the FCC had gone too far by stopping local and state governments from forging their own net neutrality rules. At least 22 states' attorneys general had joined state and local leaders along with tech companies in opposing the FCC's decision in court. So both sides have something to cheer about.

"The court affirmed the FCC's decision to repeal 1930s utility-style regulation of the Internet imposed by the prior administration," said Ajit Pai, the FCC's Republican chairman. But FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said "there is still a fight to be had, and now it is both at the FCC and at the state and local level." At stake is government regulation of the Internet: In 2015, the FCC approved a set of rules that forbade Internet providers from barring websites or charging more for specific content or better service, per the New York Times. Pai argued that the rules hampered telecom investment and curbed broadband growth. Take a deep dive into the issue at CNET. (Or see how Burger King got into the fight.)

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