The Federal Communication Commission’s rollback of net neutrality rules will be officially published this week, and could take effect in April.
While the FCC voted in December to rescind the Obama-era net neutrality protections, the actual order dismantling those rules is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.
The repeal will take full effect 60 days after it is formally published in the Federal Register, an online government journal containing agency rules, proposals, and public notices.
If it is published Thursday, that means the new FCC rules will take effect around April 23.
But the formal publication in the Federal Register also means that state attorneys and consumer advocacy groups will be able to sue to block the order from going into effect, Reuters reported. Similarly, Congress also has a 60-day deadline to introduce legislation that would overturn or block the FCC’s vote.
While a slew of advocacy groups filed petitions to block the net neutrality repeal in January, they’ll need to refile within 10 business days of the new rules’ publication. Many state attorneys have also threatened to sue to protect the old net neutrality rules.
The FCC, headed by Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai, voted 3-2 in December along party lines to overturn the net neutrality protections. The rules, introduced under the Obama administration, were meant to bar internet service providers from throttling speeds to certain content or charging more for priority access.
Broadly, internet providers and many Republicans in government support the FCC repeal. On the other hand, Democrats, consumers, and internet and technology firms are overwhelmingly against it.
Congressional Democrats are already planning on proposing a resolution in the Senate to block the FCC’s repeal — and they’re fairly close to doing so. Google parent company Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon have also lent their support to bids hoping to save net neutrality, Wired reported.
But such a resolution would have to make it through the House of Representatives, where the GOP holds a greater majority. From there, it would go to the White House, where President Trump can — and is likely to — veto it.