Federal court upholds net neutrality repeal, but rules that the FCC can't block state internet laws
FCC Chair Ajit Pai still considers the ruling a 'victory'By Cohen Coberly 26 comments
The fight for net neutrality regulations at the federal level may be all but lost at this point, but that hasn't stopped individual states from coming up with their own alternative rules. Indeed, the likes of California and Washington have already passed their own net neutrality variants, much to the chagrin of the FCC; the organization responsible for repealing the federal rules back in 2017.
Recently, the FCC earned a win (of sorts) after a federal court ruled in favor of the regulatory board's decision to end US-wide net neutrality. However, the victory was bittersweet, as the ruling also says the FCC doesn't have the authority to block individual states from passing their own net neutrality-related legislation. This could mean the ongoing Department of Justice lawsuit against California (which was temporarily put on hold) will be dropped outright.
The court ruling also points out a few other flaws in the FCC's original net neutrality-repealing "Restoring Internet Freedom Order." For example, the agency will be required to adjust the Order to better address the implications it might have for public safety, as well as concerns about the "effects of broadband reclassification on the Lifeline program."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai -- the individual responsible for the Restoring Internet Freedom Order -- is quite happy with the court's recent ruling.
"Today's decision is a victory for consumers, broadband deployment, and the free and open Internet... Since we adopted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, consumers have seen 40% faster speeds and millions more Americans have gained access to the Internet," he said in a statement. "A free and open Internet is what we have today and what we'll continue to have moving forward. We look forward to addressing on remand the narrow issues that the court identified."