Net Neutrality vote must wait until conclusion of comment investigation, Schneiderman says

Telecom firms have been forced into going for M&A deals after the entry of Reliance Jio last September

Specifically, the groups propose the FCC delay the vote until a pending court case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - the en banc review in Federal Trade Commission v. AT&T Mobility - resolves.

The FCC did not immediately reply when asked why it chose to cooperate with the investigation or whether it would delay the vote.

The FCC acknowledges the problem but points out that numerous fraudulent comments come from people or groups who support the current net neutrality rules. He has said that the FCC does not need to impose any tougher rules on ISPs to protect consumers, as the Federal Trade Commission will continue to do that.

It will now assist the New York Attorney General's office in looking into all of the fake anti-net neutrality comments submitted via the FCC site.

"We are hoping they can delay the vote so we can get to the bottom of this", he said in a news conference. The problem? In most parts of the United States, the amount of ISPs available are pitiful, and for many, there is only one option.

With the FCC set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai's plan to kill neutrality in just over a week, a diverse coalition-ranging from consumer protection organizations to progressive lawmakers to Harvard professors-is denouncing the FCC's proposals and scheduling nationwide protests to combat the agency's move to let massive telecom companies "cash in on the internet" at the expense of consumers.

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Pai's plan "removes bright-line rules based on bipartisan principles, embraced by Republican and Democratic FCC chairmen over the last two decades", Eshoo said. "The FCC chairman and his staff have responded by stonewalling". His concern was echoed by Rosenworcel, who also brought up other issues with the process, like an alleged denial of service attack that crashed the system, and 50,000 comments that were submitted but are apparently missing from the public record.

Since the open letter was published late last month, roughly 3,000 people from across the country have reached out to Schneiderman's office, including 350 New Yorkers, claiming that their names were used to submit comments without their knowledge, Schneiderman said. There are multiple reports that the comments include fake ones, perhaps made by bots.

Schneiderman had argued that "hundreds of thousands of identical anti-net neutrality comments under the names and addresses of unwitting Americans" constitutes illegal impersonation and misuse of a person's identity. The current net neutrality rules, approved during the Obama administration, barred internet providers from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic to or from specific websites and apps.

Although Schneiderman said he has received more than 3,200 complaints, including 350 in NY, from those who say comments were made in their or a relative's name without their consent, the FCC is refusing to provide any records or data to help with the investigation.

"Our process for serving the public inter is broken", Rosenworcel said. That's unacceptable. The FCC needs to correct this course immediately.

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