The next front in the net neutrality war: Feds versus the states

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In the hours after the Trump administration scrapped rules that required internet providers to treat all web traffic equally, a handful of states mobilized in a bid to reverse the decision by the Federal Communications Commission in court — or perhaps write their own new regulations as a replacement. To start, a coalition of state attorneys general, led by New York, pledged on Dec 14 that they would sue the FCC to stop its rollback from taking place. Meanwhile, policymakers in at least two states — California and Washington — said they’d try on their own to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking websites, slowing down web traffic or prioritizing their movies, music and other content above their rivals’ offerings.

Legislating is an especially fraught, difficult proposition. The order adopted by the FCC doesn’t just kill the existing net neutrality rules — it explicitly seeks to override local policymakers from pursuing their own laws. And the FCC’s Republicans signaled that they’d vigorously pursue any states that tried that anyway.


The next front in the net neutrality war: Feds versus the states