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What Will Law Firms Do as Net Neutrality Dies?

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 05, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For most everyday internet users, including lawyers, net neutrality has been a good thing.

But that Obama-era idea was so yesterday. In the Trump era, net neutrality as we know it will soon be dead.

So what will law firms do when internet service providers raise rates for fast-lane internet and slow down traffic for everybody else? After paying the premium, of course, lawyers will sue.

New Legislation

New legislation almost always means new lawsuits. After the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle net neutrality rules, legislators from California to New York already started fighting back.

In California, state Senate committees approved a bill that would block broadband companies from slowing down internet traffic or charging more for internet usage. New York soon followed with a similar bill. Washington state has already passed one.

The FCC, however, says its rules preempt state laws on the issue. Drew Hanson, who sponsored the Washington bill said: "The FCC doesn't have preemption authority just because it says so."

According to reports, 36 states and Washington D.C. have introduced measures to keep net neutrality. That includes legislation and lawsuits.

New Lawsuits

The Internet Association, which represents companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, has joined a legal challenge to the repeal of net neutrality. But it's the smaller companies that will suffer the most.

Like individual users, small businesses will bear the brunt of the rule changes. Some may just pay for fast-lane services and move on, or give up.

But others will look for somebody to sue -- if not the FCC, then the ISP. That's what law firms will be doing when net neutrality dies.

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