Yes, the FCC repeal entered the Federal Register today, but that does NOT mean net neutrality is dead. We now have 60 legislative days to overrule the FCC using the Congressional Review Act, and there’s a massive online protest planned this Tuesday.
TL;DR: Net neutrality is NOT dead. We now have 60 legislative days to get the Senate to pass CRA resolution to block the repeal, and we just need one more vote to win. There’s a MASSIVE ONLINE PROTEST planned this Tuesday that reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, GitHub, Vimeo, and others are participating in. CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW.
Okay reddit, there are a lot of headlines flying today saying things like “Net neutrality is really officially dead.” That’s not true. Here’s the deal:
Today the FCC rules were published in the Federal Register. This was expected. It does not mean that the FCC’s previous net neutrality protections are no longer in effect. They still are, and will be for at least 60 more days, and probably more. That’s important to know, because it means anyone saying stuff like “Net neutrality is gone and there is no internet apocalypse so therefore we never needed it in the first place,” is either misinformed or intentionally misleading you.
The rules entering the Federal Register is significant, though, because it opens the door for lawsuits (and there will be many) and starts the clock on a 60-legislative-day window during which the Senate can vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to block the FCC repeal. 60 legislative days is more like 90 real days — so the deadline is sometime around early June.
We currently already have 50 votes committed in the Senate, so we need just ONE MORE SENATOR to support the CRA to pass the resolution, which would be a huge victory for the net neutrality movement and a humiliating blow for Ajit Pai and the ISPs.
There’s a huge day of action planned this coming Tuesday called **Operation: #OneMoreVote that’s laser focused on securing the final vote we need to pass the CRA in the Senate. Major web platforms (including reddit!) as well as Tumblr, Etsy, Private Internet Access, Vimeo, GitHub, DuckDuckGo, Fiverr, Patreon, Imgur, and tons of others, as well as organizations like the ACLU, Free Press, and Creative Commons. (Full disclosure, I work for Fight for the Future, one of groups behind BattleForTheNet.com and one of the main groups organizing the protest.)
If we can pass the CRA in the Senate, we’ll take the fight to the House of Representatives, where we’ll need to wage an all-out war to reach the 218 votes (a simple majority) needed to force the CRA past any blocks from leadership to the floor. If we hit that number, it can’t be stopped by a filibuster either.
Getting the CRA passed through both houses of Congress will be a serious uphill battle. But it’s a battle worth fighting. That’s because the ISPs lobbyists have a different plan: they want to use the “crisis” they created by gutting the rules at the FCC to get Congress to pass bad legislation that will undermine net neutrality while claiming to save it. **Be extremely wary of these bills.** Any lawmaker who is talking about net neutrality legislation but hasn’t signed on to the CRA is very likely full of it and working to help the ISPs, or unwittingly helping them by not understanding the issue.
The CRA provides the clearest path to restoring strong net neutrality protections — to ensure that Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T can’t block websites, slow down apps, charge new fees, and otherwise control what we see and do online. It’s also an essential way to ensure that there is no gap in protections while Congress deliberates.
Whew! This was a lot of info but I really hope it helps. This next phase of the net neutrality fight is going to be a bit more confusing than the last, so it’s super important that everyone who cares about this gets educated so they really understand what’s going on and can push back when there is misinformation, astroturfing, and other BS happening. Follow groups like Free Press, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, and EFF to make sure you know what’s going on.