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MIT Technology Review

Net neutrality rules in the US aren’t quite dead yet

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A last-ditch attempt in Congress aims to stop them being scrapped next month

The deadline: America’s Federal Communications Commission voted in December to repeal net neutrality rules introduced by the Obama administration, which prevent internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing selected websites. That repeal will go into effect on June 11.

The lifeline: A report from Reuters says that a petition has been filed to force a vote in the Senate to overturn the FCC’s December vote before the deadline. The Senate’s vote could take place as early as next week, and Democrats are confident they can rally enough support to win it. Some states are also trying to block the FCC’s move and readying their own net neutrality regimes.

Why it matters: As we’ve pointed out before, scrapping net neutrality will harm innovation by allowing internet providers to charge a premium for faster service, giving deep-pocketed large companies an advantage over startups. It will also let the ISPs favor their own services over those of rivals. If the FCC’s move is blocked, it is likely to spark a court battle, which will at least keep the rules in place for longer.