The Federal Communication Commission’s vote of 3-2 in favor of deregulating the broadband industry has reignited a years-long fight with Google, Yahoo, Netflix and many other tech firms.
Last months ruling makes it legal for Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to control Internet speeds and even go as far as blocking websites. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who spearheaded the effort, has come under fire for his decision.
The previous rules had been in effect since the beginning. The Internet Association says they plan to join the attack against the FCC and the rule change.
A tsunami of lawsuits are expected to follow Friday’s announcement. However, the National Register must contain the published new rules before anything can happen.
The Internet Association released a statement criticizing Pai for dismantling net neutrality and failing to provide protection for consumers. “The rules will fail to offer a free and open Internet, and it also goes against the will of the majority Americans.
The Internet Association has made it clear that they will continue to closely monitor the situation and push to restore the previous rules that ensure a safe and free Internet.
This isn’t the FCC’s first legal go round with net neutrality. In 2015, the cable and telecom industries launched a lawsuit against the FCC for overstepping their authority. Democrats, who at the time led the commission, were able to thwart the legal challenge.
Both sides vow to continue the fight. Net neutrality supporters say they will seek all legislative remedies to restore it back to its original rules. Opponents, on the other hand, will argue that the Internet lacks the authority to regulate Internet providers.
Some customers are already expressing their disappointment regarding the FCC’s action. The FCC has been bombarded with messages, calling their decision callous and criminal.