Three states file "friend of the court" brief siding with the FCC against net neutrality
Three states have filed an Amici Curiae (friend of the court) brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Texas, Arkansas, and Nebraska are taking the side of the FCC in the agency's legal battle against 22 state attorneys general, some local governments, several businesses and organizations who want to see the FCC's repeal of net neutrality overturned. The FCC and the DOJ have filed with the court asking it to dismiss the case.
Net neutrality is a set of rules that was put into place by the Obama-era FCC. It demands that ISPs and wireless carriers treat all streaming content the same. It prevents a wireless carrier from getting paid some extra cash in exchange for providing a "fast lane" for streaming content. It also prevents a carrier from refusing to stream content that it doesn't philosophically agree with.
The Trump-era FCC voted to repeal net neutrality last December, and the rules were officially repealed in June. But that hasn't stopped several states, including California, from making net neutrality the law in these states, and most surveys show that the majority of the American public wants the rules to return. The FCC called California's act "illegal," as did Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The brief filed by Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska says that net neutrality "offered threats to investment and creative problem solving within the ISP community." The filing adds that the FCC repealed the rules "both to address these specific policy concerns as well as [to] cut back on regulatory red tape in general."
Net neutrality, and the actions being done by individual states to overturn the FCC's repeal, has turned into a political football. States with a Democrat serving as Attorney General are trying to save net neutrality, while states with a Republican Attorney General are either siding with the FCC, or are watching quietly. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled to begin on February 1st, 2019.