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The FCC Voted To Repeal Net Neutrality & Here’s What That Means For You Right Now

Quartz Media has just confirmed that The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), directed by Ajit Pai, has voted on Thursday, December 14th to repeal the Open Internet Order, ending Net Neutrality. Essentially, what this means is that internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have the power to dictate what consumers can access online, and potentially for a price, according to Reuters.

Considering that your Twitter feed over the last few days was probably filled with urges to save Net Neutrality, this vote comes as an extreme shock. However, just as the internet was quick to campaign to save Net Neutrality, media sites are already showing the various ways in which this vote can be undone—because Net Neutrality will not go down without a fight. 

As Quartz Media reports, there are options available to undo the FCC’s decision. One way is through Congress, as Quartz Media explains that Legislators in the House and Senate could pass a law that takes the power of Net Neutrality’s fate out of the FCC’s hands. However, considering everything else on their plate, this option is not very likely. So, enter the Congressional Review Act (CRA). 

Basically, under the law of the CRA, Legislators of either voting party can push to reverse agency rulings, following the pass of a “resolution of disapproval” and a majority in the Senate, according to Quartz. In this scenario, the CRA could permanently reverse the vote by the FCC. Although only one reversal successfully resulted from the CRA before 2016, as Quartz notes, this law may be the best shot at saving Net Neutrality. So, if you’re in need of some good news right now, Senators are already planning to focus on using the CRA to bring back Net Neutrality. 

According to a snippet of a press release (shared by The Daily Dot’s Andrew Wyrich), Senator Edward J. Markey and 15 other Senators have “announced their plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would undo today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and restore the 2015 net neutrality rules.” The release goes on to feature quotes from Senator Markey, who believes that Trump’s FCC made a “historic mistake” with their vote today. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has, on multiple occasions, penned letters to the FCC with concerns over millions of fake comments being submitted (using Americans’ identities and information without their consent) that allegedly “corrupted the public commenting process.” He also announced on Thursday his intention to sue to “stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of #netneutrality.” 

The FCC’s vote to rip apart net neutrality is a blow to New York consumers, and to everyone who cares about a free and open internet,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present, by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers. Today’s rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online. That’s a threat to the free exchange of ideas that’s made the Internet a valuable asset in our democratic process.”

Amanda graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelor's degree in both Communications and Public Relations. She also proudly served as the Editor in Chief of her college's Her Campus chapter, and as a Her Campus Editorial Intern. She is from Chicago, Illinois, which she can confirm is indeed a windy city. Today she can still be found furiously tapping away at her laptop keys and producing content for the internet. In her spare time she enjoys reading books (before watching their Netflix or movie adaptions), running for fun (yes, it can be fun) and spending time with her friends and family.
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