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States File Petitions to Undo FCC's Internet Rule Rollback

Add 22 state attorneys general (AGs) to those filing "protective petitions" with a D.C. federal appeals court, seeking to overturn the FCC's Dec. 14 decision to roll back Internet regulations.

Led by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the AGs said they were filing the petitions in an abundance of caution to reserve the right to be in a venue lottery if (or more likely, when) petitions to overturn the rules are filed in multiple appeals courts, which would trigger a lottery to choose among those courts.

Similar petitions have been filed by Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute, also in case the order is deemed final on the date it was issued, rather than when it is published in the Federal Register, though the FCC said that publication would be the trigger.

The AGs want the court to "hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin and set aside the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which rolls back the Title II reclassification of ISPs and reverses the internet regulations against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

“The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers – allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online," said Schneiderman. "This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet."

In addition to New York, other states joining in the suit include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.