Is net neutrality dead for good?
Not yet, exactly — here’s what happens next
First, it was discovered that public comments in support of the repeal were fabricated, with plagiarizers leaving pro-reversal comments under the names of people who are no longer alive.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has compiled a database that allows users to find out if names of their relatives or loved ones were used in this manner — as was the case for designer Morgan Knutson. And while these findings alone most likely can’t invalidate the FCC’s vote, they could support congressional efforts to maintain net neutrality.
And about those efforts: Over a dozen senators, including Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, are working to present a Congressional Review Act — the process that allows Congress to counter regulatory rulings from federal agencies — that would nullify the FCC’s vote. It’s worth noting, too, that if such an Act did reverse the vote, the FCC would not be able to act to repeal net neutrality again.
In sum, the FCC’s vote has carved a very clear, accessible path for the aforementioned changes to become a reality — but they haven’t gone into effect yet.
And as for what the vote means for small-to-midsize businesses, as we mentioned before, there may be repercussions as a result of the potential for more steeply-priced access to the high-speed internet that so many of us rely on. But until these changes actually take effect and regulations are officially dismantled — pending the Congressional Review Act — it’s too soon to tell.