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After Net Neutrality Win, Emboldened FCC Eyes New Reforms

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One week after a federal court upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality policy, emboldened FCC officials are moving to advance an ambitious set of reforms that are already generating static from the broadband industry and its political allies.

The decade-long battle over net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to consumers, is not over. Industry giant AT&T has said it plans to join an appeal of the DC Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court, and net neutrality foes in Congress continue to pursue their relentless campaign aimed at knee-capping the FCC’s consumer protections.

But now that the FCC’s regulatory authority is on the strongest legal footing in years, agency officials are well-positioned to address pressing policy issues without the albatross of net neutrality around their necks. Speaking to the National Press Club on Monday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sounded a defiant note on the question of the agency’s legal power as he outlined new plans to promote 5G wireless spectrum.

“Our networks are open and will remain open for innovators to use without permission, and for consumers to access any place they want to go on the web, without permission, without blocking, without throttling, and without paid prioritization,” Wheeler told reporters.

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