Net neutrality, also referred to as open internet, has experienced some contention. While a majority of internet users believe that net neutrality regulation allows for free and fair usage of the web, some politicians and corporations believe that repealing net neutrality is beneficial to the economy.
In 2015, the opposition failed and the Open Internet Order was established, effectively banning internet providers from blocking or slowing access to some content and creating “fast lanes.”
In December, net neutrality regulation was reversed successfully by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai (R).
Because this move was viewed almost universally as harmful by the general public, support for reinstating the net neutrality rules has sprung up from unexpected places. On Friday, a traditionally red state made a stand against the FCC.
That state was Nebraska, which has now become the first traditionally conservative state to launch significant attempts to save net neutrality rules.
On Friday, state Senator Adam Morfeld (D) introduced legislation into the state legislature to protect net neutrality regulations in law on the state-level. Morfeld’s proposed bill aims to keep broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast from being able to slow down or block internet content and from being able to cut deals with content providers in which the broadband giants can ensure their clients that they will have preferable connection speeds.
At the moment, it is unclear how likely the bill is to pass, but Morfeld has told The Lincoln Star Journal that it has already received bipartisan support within the state. Morfeld’s actions have also started a precedent in surrounding states.
Other states, such as California, Washington, and New York are also considering state-level net neutrality rules after Chairman Ajit Pai successfully moved to end net neutrality regulations.
But even if bills make it through the state-level legislature, other challenges will present themselves. In the order to conclude Obama-era net neutrality rules, the FCC noted that its measures preclude net neutrality regulations on the state level.
Importantly, other lawmakers and state officials have also initiated efforts to restore the net neutrality regulations as well.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) has planned on leading a coalition of other states’ attorneys general in filing a lawsuit to keep the rules.
In Congress, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is spearheading an effort to launch a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution in an attempt to reverse Pai’s plan.
Senator Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.) agreed on Monday to become the CRA’s 30th co-sponsor, which is the minimum amount to ensure that it will receive a vote on the Senate floor. She tweeted, stating that she is “proud to be that 30th cosponsor of @SenMarkey bill to restore free and open internet.”
H/T: The Hill