ME joins federal lawsuit to stop rollback of net neutrality

New York Eric Schneiderman

As attorneys general from 21 states have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the Federal Communications Commission's decision to end net neutrality protections, USA senators from Tennessee are weighing in on the issue.

Heitkamp says repealing the net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower internet traffic, and even blocked websites.

The filing is led by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman, who called rollback a potential "disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet".

A month after the Federal Communications Commission voted to scrap net neutrality rules, 22 states, including ME, are fighting back in court.

U.S. Senate Democrats are planning to force a vote this year on reversing the Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality rules and now need just one more of their Republican peers to join them for the legislation to pass the Senate, U.S. Sen. The coastal regions, with the larger United States cities, are traditionally Democratic strongholds, and this coalition largely reflects this political stance against the Republican-leaning FCC.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is joining an effort to keep net neutrality rules in place.

"Protecting net neutrality is as critical as protecting free speech".

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Senator Ed Markey (D-HI) announced on Twitter that Senate Democrats are one vote away from being able to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) of the FCC's decision. One more Republican is needed to move the bill forward.

With Jones' victory in a December special election, Senate Democrats now number 49.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, the petition states, the FCC can not make "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality.

The FCC gets a "significant amount of discretion" to switch directions on policy, said Matthew Brill, a partner at the firm Latham and Watkins who represents NCTA - The Internet and Television Association, a major cable industry trade group, in a recent interview.

A lawsuit filed by internet providers to repeal net neutrality was not successful.

Most Republicans in Congress and telecommunications companies strongly opposed the regulations, which classified broadband as a more highly regulated utility-like service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

As for the lawsuit from State Attorneys General, this looks to be just the opening salvo of what will undoubtedly be a long and drawn out litigious process.

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