Court rules the FCC can’t block state net neutrality laws

9 comments

  1. Laminar_flo

    |Author

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news and please understand that I’m approaching this from a strictly legal theory approach and not preaching a political position…..but, this is likely to get reversed and revised in the future in the FCC’s favor.

    This specific case was about the FCC’s regulatory authority to block/change local legislation before its implemented. This ruling was a kinda split decision. However, the issue of local net neutrality was always going to be decided under a commerce clause framework. In short, a potentially unlimited number of local data traffic rules, procedures and practices is extremely likely to place an undue burden on interstate commerce. If you set aside political leanings, you’d have to see how having hundreds of sets of NN rules would harm cross-state commercial data traffic; just imagine how many arbitrary rules/standards you’d have to jump through just to move the data traffic for a VOIP call from NYC to LA.

    The thing about this specific type of legal challenge is that you need the NN rules in place first, *then* you demonstrate harm to interstate commerce. For example, there is some possibility where CA and the other states adopt *exactly* the FCC’s regulations, then there would be no harm; however, that’s unlikely to be the case here. This type of challenge *generally* happens ex post facto. Yes there are some cases where you get the regulations enjoined after they are finalized but before they ‘officially’ become law; however, I believe this case is going to require the ISPs and businesses the rely on inter-state data traffic to show ‘actual harm’.

    I always get beaten up on Reddit when I say this, but the path to NN is through the legislative branch, not the judicial branch.

  2. 3720-To-One

    |Author

    Naturally, libertarians hate this… because in their mind, big telecom should be allowed to screw consumers in anyway possible, because of this naive believe that the free market will magically stop it from happening.

  3. Bopshebopshebop

    |Author

    Does this mean Net Neutrality is _de facto_ reinstated nationally?

    Whenever California passes legislation like this (like cancer/chemical warnings), companies just begin complying with that on all products to avoid potential litigation.

    Will it be the same with internet providers?

  4. newnamesam

    |Author

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pleasantly surprised. I hope this blows up in Pai’s corrupt face as more and more states put in diverse legislation to protect net neutrality.

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