States To Send Net Neutrality Decision To Court

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File
– Net Neutrality
In this Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, file photo, demonstrators rally in support of net neutrality outside a Verizon store in New York. The Federal Communications Commission is voting Thursday, Dec. 14 to undo Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet. The industry promises that the internet experience isn’t going to change, but the issue has struck a nerve. Protests have erupted online and in the streets as everyday Americans worry that companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will be able to control what they see and do online.

Just one month after the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal previous “net neutrality,” 21 states and advocacy groups filed paperwork to ensure that the matter will be sent to the courts for further scrutiny.
The eventuality of the process moving to the courts was discussed during the Dec. 14 vote to approve the controversial proposal to change existing Internet Service Provider (ISP) regulation from utility-style to information service. 
The states participating in the petition, filed Jan. 16, include California, New York, Hawaii, Kentucky, and North Carolina, along with the District of Columbia. These states all have Democratic attorney generals, according to Ars Technica, meaning the decision continues to play out along party lines. 
The process was filed as a “protective petition for review,” claiming that the FCC’s order was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” and a violation of existing laws. 
Other advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute also filed similar petitions, according to Ars Technica
Some in the live music industry expressed concern that deregulation could lead to changes in download speeds, pricing and services offered by ISPs, as well as abuses of power, though FCC chairman Ajit Pai made efforts to address those concerns in his proposal and in other documents and materials.