It's been five months since the FCC voted to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections. Now the commission has announced that it plans to do away with these regulations on June 11, which is 30 days after the order revoking the rules will be finalized and published in the Federal Register.
Ordinary citizens, tech companies, and rights organizations have all protested the FCC's plan to revoke net neutrality protections ever since commissioner Ajit Pai revealed it. At one point, the FCC website's comment section crashed because so many people were commenting, although many of those "people" were bots using stolen identities to support Pai's proposal.
Yet those complaints weren't enough to stop the FCC.The FCC has used the last five months to finalize the proposal, presumably with the intent of making it as hard as possible to continue to protest the repeal.
Here's the good news: Democratic senators are scrambling to start a vote to block the FCC's repeal. Reuters said a vote could happen as early as next week, and thus far 50 senators (47 Democrats, two independents, and one Republican) are planning to stop the FCC's plan from moving forward. If that happens, the net neutrality protections should remain in place, which is what the majority of Americans wanted to begin with.
The U.S. Senate isn't the only group working to stop the FCC's repeal. On May 9, digital rights organizations and tech companies kicked off the Red Alert for Net Neutrality movement, which aims to remind internet users to contact their representatives and let them know to oppose the FCC's plan. State lawmakers have also voted to block the FCC's repeal and, in some cases, introduce their own net neutrality protections.
These efforts have one month to show results. Otherwise, the FCC's plan to gut net neutrality will move forward, and unless the political climate drastically changes during the mid-term and/or next presidential elections, it could be a long while before they return.