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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pellegrin

Negating Neutered Net Neutrality?

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

FCC Landmark Decision Being Aggressively Challenged. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rollback of its rules on “Net Neutrality” is being actively challenged in federal court, as well as in at least one state.

By John Pellegrin, September 2018

Basically, the concept of Net Neutrality is to level the playing field for smaller, less well-healed users of bandwidth and similar through-put speed to ensure there will not be any favoritism or untoward discrimination between allied Internet Service Providers (ISPs) when it comes to fast speed/sufficient bandwidth for the various and growing number of users/providers.

Legislative Response to FCC Neutering Net Neutrality. Robust, speedy throughput is the goal of all parties, at least on paper. Who pays for such and how much is the crux of the current debate. At least one state – California – has just challenged the FCC’s self-imposed “exclusivity” in setting Net Neutrality rules/policies by adopting legislation prohibiting any favoritism or discriminatory treatment or pricing by #Internet service providers. This is completely counter to the now-adopted #FCC rules which are being challenged in federal court by numerous parties. This California legislation awaits the governor’s signature, which is expected.

Undoubtedly, no matter how the intermediate federal court rules, that decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This could easily add another year of uncertainty to #NetNeutrality rules/policies.

Thrust of New FCC Approach to Network Neutrality. Pellegrin’s BriefCase covered the FCC’s significant changes in its new “light touch approach” to regulation of Net Neutrality back in December of 2017 (Issue #3). The FCC’s proposed “light-touch regulatory approach” would replace the current rules under the 2015 “Open Internet Order,” but as some concerned commentators have said, the FCC essentially has gutted the previous 2015 Net Neutrality rules and policies. This was accomplished by replacing Title II #CommonCarrier regulation with a complaint procedure for alleged anticompetitive/discriminatory behavior by #ISP bandwidth suppliers. The FCC also would like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take over basic enforcement of any alleged discriminatory practices under the FCC’s newly adopted rules. However, the #FTC response has been to state it is not inclined to do so.

Pellegrin’s BriefCase SM/©

Volume 2, Issue #3, September 2018


Author’s Background and Caveats: ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The author has a robust communications and IT/IP legal practice and is available to assist on the Network Neutrality legal front, as well as serve as an expert witness in certain situations. He is well positioned to represent entities in various forums & before various government agencies, including the FCC. Nothing contained in Pellegrin’s BriefCase is to be taken as the last word on this subject nor relied upon as legal advice; rather, the author’s comments on emerging trends in business and prescient decisions in the law and government regulations/interpretations/policy are meant to make the reader more aware of trending issues and risks.

Law and Business Consulting Services. Under John D. Pellegrin, P.C. we view our role as legal counsel being essentially to “define the scope of the risk” for our clients. John also serves as Of Counsel to the law firm of Allred, Bacon, Halfhill & Young, PLC. He balances this full-time practice with active involvement in several community-based organizations and activities. These include serving as Chairman/At Large Commissioner, Fairfax County Small Business Commission; Rotary Club of West Springfield; Boy Scouts of America; National Eagle Scout Association; MVLE, Inc.; various Chambers of Commerce; and the Purveyors Club. He has been recognized & honored with several awards over his lengthy legal career and community involvement, including a communications Golden Receiver Award, Community Champion & Rotary International’s Vocational Services Award. The author may be reached at 703.250.1595 (ofc.); 703.598.0380 (cell); or Website:

Pellegrin’s BriefCase is a Service Mark (SM) of John D. Pellegrin, P.C., and its contents are copyrighted ©, with all rights reserved. Pellegrin’s Briefcase/blog may be reposted or commented on if appropriate attribution is given this author. Comments on/submissions to Pellegrin’s BriefCase are always welcome.

Pellegrin’s BriefCase SM/©

Volume 2, Issue #3, September 2018


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