Net Neutrality Challenges Can Begin This Week

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Thursday, Feb 22, will be the red letter day for court and congressional challenges to the Federal Communications Commission's Dec 14 decision to roll back network neutrality rules and reclassify Internet service providers out from under Title II common carrier regulations. The FCC Has delivered the final Restoring Internet Freedom order to the Federal Register, which has just signaled it would be publishing that order on Feb 22. That means the repeal will take place on or about April 23. But the lawsuits to overturn the repeal can get started in Feb or in early March.

Publication of the final text of the decision signals that lawsuits challenging the rule rollback can be filed, as well as triggering the FCC's determination of the date when the rules go into effect--challenges can begin even before that effective date. That doesn't necessarily mean the rules will go into effect soon. The FCC said in the order that it would not release an effective date until the Office of Management and Budget approves the new reporting requirements of the enhanced transparency rules and that, too, has been published in the Federal Register, which has not happened yet.  That reporting requirement is central to enforcement of net neutrality in the absence of bright-line rules, since the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department will rely on what ISPs say they are doing to decide whether that is unfair or deceptive or anticompetitive.

Net Neutrality Challenges Can Begin This Week The FCC’s net neutrality rules will officially expire in late April (ars technica)