Tech Companies, States Spar with Government Over Net Neutrality

Tech companies and nearly two dozen states clashed with the government in federal court over the repeal of net neutrality, the Obama-era rules preventing big Internet providers from discriminating against certain technology and services.

Lawyers for the states and the companies argued to restore net neutrality, repealed in December 2017 by the Trump administration.

The net neutrality rules had banned cable, wireless, and other broadband providers from arbitrarily blocking or slowing down websites and apps, the process referred to as “throttling.”

Because the FCC classified the Internet as an information service rather than a telecom service, it was determined that the agency was justified in not addressing misconduct by the large Internet providers. The government lawyers and the large providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast argued to keep neutrality repealed, allowing them to continue under current regulations. The FCC requirement of Internet providers to disclose practices and operations is a sufficient safeguard.

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