Home News Net Neutrality supporters are getting ready for a big war

Net Neutrality supporters are getting ready for a big war

by Harikrishna Mekala

Not even a month later the Federal Communications Commission decided to abandon its requirement that internet providers treat all web traffic fairly, a fleet of tech startups, customer activists, and state lawyers general are planning to take the bureau to court.

The required, early challengers enter crafts marketplace Etsy, which verified to News this week that it would quickly sue the FCC. Lobbying groups serving companies like Facebook and Google also plan to intercede in some fashion.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are angling to force Congress to discuss the future of net neutrality rules. Even if they fail, they have a different goal in mind: They hope to turn net neutrality into a federal rallying cry, preparing droves of young voters to cast ballots through the 2018 election, when the combination of the U.S. Capitol is up for grabs.

“From my perspective, I think it’s a very convincing issue,” Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat directing the charge, told News. “The Republicans are on the evil side of history. And there is a very high administrative price to pay for those who are on the wrong side of history.”

“I’ve never seen an effect that is so compelling for teenagers,” added his peer from Hawaii, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, in a later conference. “And that’s why I believe that we’re going to win on this ultimately. Because you can’t find a kid on Instagram who’s not angry about what the FCC just did to the internet.”

“They may not know every nuance of the policy but they know net neutrality is something they have now, and they know it was just taken away,” Schatz continued. “And they know it was the Republicans.”

For the moment, though, net neutrality advocates can’t just race into battle.

To be sure, the FCC and its Republican leader, Ajit Pai, established in December 2017 to scrap the open internet protections achieved under former President Barack Obama.

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