Net neutrality debut to face challenges from service providers, Republican leaders

The FCC's much-anticipated net neutrality rules for wireline and wireless networks will go into effect in November, but the rules will face a number of lawsuits from service providers and political leaders trying to block the effort.

Marsha Blackburn, Congress

Blackburn, shown at an unrelated Vets for Freedom rally, spoke out against net neutrality rules. (Image source:

Last December, the FCC passed net neutrality in a contentious 3-2 vote. Under the new rules, wireline and wireless service providers will no longer be able to throttle down the speeds of consumers who are accessing bandwidth-hungry content such as movies or music. However, they will be allowed to reasonably manage their networks to prevent congestion.

One service provider that's anxious to eliminate the rules is Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), whose lawsuit challenging net neutrality was thrown out by a federal appeals court in April. The court said the suits were filed prematurely because the rules had not been published yet.

However, Verizon is not backing down from its anti-net neutrality effort and plans to file another suit.  

Republican lawmakers are already firing shots at the FCC. After the FCC published its "open Internet" order in the Federal Register on Friday, the Republican Party, long-standing critics of net neutrality, were already plotting ways to put an end to the rules.  

In April, the Republican-led House developed a plan to overturn the FCC's net neutrality plan and prevent the FCC from pushing forward any of the rules associated with it.

Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked the House of Representatives and Senate to block the rules.

"This is just more bureaucratic overregulation that will discourage innovation, hurt competition, and serve as a job-killer for the industry," Blackburn said in a statement. "The FCC is in essence building an Internet Iron Curtain that will restrict more of our freedom."

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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