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Google, Facebook, and Netflix Decide They Care About Net Neutrality Again

• https://motherboard.vice.com

A coalition of internet companies is promising to take the FCC to court for its rushed repeal of popular net neutrality rules.

The Internet Association, whose members include Facebook, Google, Netflix, Lyft, and others, has issued a statement indicating it plans to participate in the looming lawsuits against the agency. Those lawsuits should drop shortly after the FCC's repeal hits the Federal Register, something that should happen with the next few months.

"The final version of Chairman Pai's rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers," said IA CEO CEO Michael Beckerman.

"This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet," notes the group. "IA intends to act as an intervenor in judicial action against this order and, along with our member companies, will continue our push to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality protections through a legislative solution."

Said "legislative solution" could be a tricky path forward. Most net neutrality advocates support saving the current rules through either a reversal of the repeal using the Congressional Review Act, or waiting for the looming court battle. Especially given the numerous procedural missteps and fraudulent behavior the FCC turned a blind eye to during the repeal.

Large ISPs are pushing for a net neutrality "legislative solution" of their own, though their intent is to pass a loophole-filled net neutrality law with one real function: preventing tougher, real rules from being passed later.

That said, the IA is right to note that survey after survey continues to highlight how net neutrality has broad, bipartisan support. A survey from Mozilla last year found that 81 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Republicans are in favor of net neutrality. The issue is often only framed as "partisan" by industry lobbyists, all-too-eager to foment discord and stall the passage and enforcement of real rules.

That said, several of IA's member companies have spotty histories when it comes to standing up for net neutrality, especially during this latest contentious stretch of the longstanding fight against telecom duopolies.

Facebook, for example, has routinely found itself under fire for trampling net neutrality overseas.

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