It’s official. The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Net Neutrality has been in effect–for a little more than two weeks.
Back in December, the FCC voted to repeal the rules that keep the internet fair and open. Since then, a long, murky process of votes, counter-votes and lawsuits has unfolded, leading us to… well—good question.
Technically, the repeal went into effect on June 11. Here’s what happened between December 14 and early June:
December 14, 2017: FCC vote
January 4, 2018: FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” issued
January 2, 2018: Federal lawsuits filed against the FCC action by states, tech companies, public interest groups
May 16, 2018: Senate passes resolution to overturn FCC decision 52-47
June 11, 2018: Repeal takes effect
The FCC ended Net Neutrality, but the Senate overturned the ruling? Then why are there still lawsuits and why did the ruling still go into effect?
If you’re feeling confused, you’re in good company. This is where Democracy gets complicated. First off, once a ruling like this is set into motion, the ship is sailing. Lawsuits are great and all, but if they’re going to turn or stop the ship, it’s going to happen slowly. Like, s-l-o-w-l-y.
And yes, the Senate did overturn the FCC decision—thanks in large part to Senator Susan Collins of Maine. Collins broke ranks with her Republican colleagues, along with Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Kennedy of Louisiana, in voting to restore Net Neutrality.
In our next post in this series, you’ll be able to read more about what this kinda-sorta victory actually means for the future of Net Neutrality—nationally and right here at home in Maine.