Net neutrality defenders gear up for new fight

Advocates for strong net neutrality rules enforced by a powerful federal regulator may be on the ropes, but they are striking a defiant tone as they look to whip up grassroots opposition ahead of the effort to dismantle the FCC’s open internet order.

Later this month, the FCC is planning to hold a vote at its May 18 meeting that would begin consideration of an order reclassifying broadband service under communications law such that the commission would significantly limit its authority to police ISPs.

The distinction in service classification is arcane, but in a practical sense the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to undo the legal underpinning of his predecessor’s 2015 open internet order, which expanded the commission’s oversight authority over the broadband sector, and established net neutrality rules that have been upheld in federal court.

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