The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court to reject a lawsuit that challenges the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules. The FCC voted in December 2017 to nix the Obama-era rules, and the change went into effect in June. A group of corporations, local governments, public interest groups, and 22 states filed a lawsuit seeking the rules to be reinstated. The Department of Justice disagrees, saying the suit has “no substantial reason to second-guess the commission’s decision to eliminate rules that the agency has determined are both unlawful and unwise.” The FCC reclassified internet access as an information service, rather than a utility under Title II. The Republican leadership of the FCC believes the industry will regulate itself through transparency. The now-negated regulations had bright line rules that prevented providers from blocking content, throttling speeds, and offering paid fast lanes. The State of California recently enacted its own net neutrality legislation and was promptly sued by the Justice Department. The tug-of-war over the issue will continue in the courts.
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