Hood Joins Net Neutrality Fight | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Hood Joins Net Neutrality Fight

Attorney General Jim Hood announced he will join 22 attorneys general to sue the Federal Communication Commission's decision to roll back net neutrality regulations.

Attorney General Jim Hood announced he will join 22 attorneys general to sue the Federal Communication Commission's decision to roll back net neutrality regulations. Photo by Imani Khayyam.

— Attorney General Jim Hood will challenge the Federal Communications Commission's decision earlier this year to repeal net neutrality regulations.

The regulations, imposed during President Barack Obama's administration, ensure that Internet service providers do not speed up or slow down certain services or sites based on rivalries or company affiliations.

In December 2017, the FCC voted to dismantle net neutrality regulations, and the FCC published the final rule on the decision Feb. 22.

"(T)he Federal Communications Commission returns to the light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the internet to develop and thrive for nearly two decades," the final rule says. "The Commission restores the classification of broadband internet access service as a lightly-regulated information service and reinstates the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband internet access service."

The new approach is set to take affect on April 23.

Hood joins 22 attorneys general who filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C.

"The repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in Mississippi and across the country who rely on and have a right to a free and open internet," Hood said in a press release. "A repeal would allow internet service providers to control and slow down consumers' lawful internet activity, which is unfair and un-American."

The attorneys general will argue that the rollback of net neutrality regulations violate federal law, including the Constitution and Communications Act of 1934. Hood lists several concerns with the rollback in a press release, including that the rule improperly and unlawfully includes sweeping preemption of state and local laws.

Most Republicans seem to be on board with the proposal, including Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who released a joint statement last year when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his rollback plan.

"We have long said that imposing a Depression-era, utility-style regulatory structure onto the internet was the wrong approach, and we applaud Chairman Pai's efforts to roll back these misguided regulations. Consumers want an open internet that doesn't discriminate on content, and protects free speech and consumer privacy," Wicker said in a joint statement with other senators. "It's now time for Republicans and Democrats, internet service providers, edge providers, and the internet community as a whole to come together and work toward a legislative solution that benefits consumers and the future of the internet."

Pai believes the move will stop federal government from micromanaging the Internet, the AP reported.

Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at arielle@jacksonfreepress.com.

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