FCC’s next step on net neutrality: Blocking the states

Politico quoted Jessica Melugin on the difficulties awaiting states or cities who would try to impose their own individualized versions of net neutrality highlighted by the controversy surrounding the announcement by the FCC to repeal Obama-era regulations.

The Obama administration’s net neutrality rules met their all-but-certain demise Tuesday as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outlined a plan to repeal them — while making sure states can’t impose their own regulations to fill the void.

Pai will release his proposal on Wednesday with broad support on the Republican-controlled FCC, leaving supporters of the 2015 policy with little recourse except to fight back in the courts.

Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” order says that state and local regulations attempting to regulate broadband in ways that run counter to the federal rules would be pre-empted.

In practice, if a state attempts to impose its own net neutrality law and a company objects to the FCC, the agency could issue a ruling that could be used in a court battle, a senior agency official explained in a call with reporters Tuesday. The official spoke anonymously to discuss the change before it’s released.

Some states and cities could still try to impose their own versions of net neutrality — “but if someone is really hellbent on running it through the court, I think they’d have a fight on their hands,” Jessica Melugin, a policy fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said in an interview. “I think this is sending a warning shot saying we’re really serious about opening up this market and keeping regulations at any level out of the way.”

Read the full article at Politico