With 2018 going down as the year that the FCC repealed net neutrality, the agency's chairman took a victory lap today (via Ars Technica). Ajit Pai, who was inserted into the chairman's role by President Donald Trump in 2017, presided over the removal of the Obama-era rules last June. Net neutrality forces ISPs and wireless providers to treat all streaming content the same, and prevents the carriers from blocking content that they may not philosophically agree with.
The Congressional Review Act could have reversed the FCC's move, and while the bill passed the Senate, it fell 38 votes short in the House. Pai released a statement that started out praising the House for failing "to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation." While the FCC is fighting a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the repeal of net neutrality, something bigger is on the horizon and it starts tomorrow when the Democrats take control of the House. And that means that the FCC will now be under the control of Senate. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the new chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Pallone has already said that he and other Democrats will "protect net neutrality."
the suit filed by 22 state attorneys general, the AG of Washington D.C. and several tech firms in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. There is much at stake in this lawsuit, especially since California has held off enforcing its newly passed net neutrality legislation until after the court makes its ruling.While the Congressional Review Act can no longer be used to reverse the FCC's repeal, the Democrats in the House could try to get a new bill passed. But even that route could be difficult since any federal legislation would have to be signed by the president, and the Democrats do not have the votes in the Senate to overturn a veto. The best shot that the Democrats have to restore net neutrality could be
Whatever occurs, 2019 could be a very meaningful year for net neutrality.