Skip to main content

Comcast wants to make sure states can't make their own net neutrality rules

Here's what the telecom giant is asking the FCC to do.

Comcast has repeatedly said it is in favor of net neutrality – rules that bar internet providers from blocking or slowing down sites and services.

The ISP giant even signed a public ad reaffirming its commitment to open internet principles.

But this week, that same "we support open internet" Comcast sent a letter to the FCC, asking it to rule that states can't override whatever the federal law regarding net neutrality is.

In essence: If the FCC rolls back net neutrality laws (by reclassifying how internet service is regulated), states can't legally put their own open internet protections in place.


5 key points that explain how net neutrality became such a big deal

This request from Comcast was filed with the FCC on Wednesday (h/t to MediaPost as one of the sites that spotted it).

The current chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has been leading the charge to roll back open internet rules that were put in place during the Obama administration. Techdirt says a final vote on whether to undo those rules could be scheduled the day before Thanksgiving, with the holiday potentially masking some of the blowback.

In its Nov. 1 filing, Comcast says its attorneys met with FCC officials two days earlier to reiterate the company's support for reclassifying internet service, freeing Internet Service Providers from following open internet rules.


FCC's plans to nix some net neutrality rules would 'destroy the internet,' Franken says

At the end, Comcast emphasizes it wants the FCCs final order to "include a clear, affirmative ruling that expressly confirms the primacy of federal law" when it comes to broadband internet classification.

This means the FCC would clearly state that its decision "preempts state and local efforts to regulate [broadband internet service] either directly or indirectly."

In short: The FCC's rules are the law of the land, and states can't set their own guidelines for internet providers.

Whether Pai's FCC decides to listen to Comcast and issue that order, we won't know until the vote. So stay tuned.


– The Tip Jar: I canceled my Comcast subscription and it felt great

What an internet without net neutrality might look like

Pai and others in favor of rolling back the open internet rules for ISPs say it is stifling innovation and more investments in the space.

Those who want to keep net neutrality rules argue it would put the power in the hands of big internet companies – they could slow down competitors' sites or services, or block things they don't want you to see.

And potentially they could charge more for access to products. For example, a U.S. Rep. for the Silicon Valley area tweeted this:

It shows internet pricing plans in Portugal, where there are no built-in net neutrality protections. 

So to have access to YouTube, you need to pay extra for the video plan. Want to stream Spotify? That's another additional package.

"A huge advantage for entrenched companies, but it totally ices out startups trying to get in front of people which stifles innovation," Rep. Ro Khanna tweeted in a follow-up.

Next Up

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.


Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Red Ox Cafe

Breakfast spot in Ham Lake closes after decades in business

The business posted an announcement on its front door.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 1.43.04 PM

St. Paul man killed partner, himself while their 5 kids were home

St. Paul confirmed the double shooting on Tuesday evening was murder-suicide.

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.


One killed after being trapped under UTV near Alexandria

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the victim died at the scene.


What's in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden?

How the nation's biggest climate law will reduce emissions.

Patrick Henry High School

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis will get new name

A school board meeting was held this week, discussing what's next going forward.

Mike Max

Mike Max is out at WCCO Radio

Max got his start at WCCO Radio in 1998.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Uber passenger dies a week after fiery crash in St. Paul

Her Uber was struck by a suspected drunk-driver.


Net neutrality supporters will try to 'break the internet' Tuesday

Net neutrality supporters are taking action Tuesday – here's what to expect while you're browsing.

Bye, net neutrality: FCC votes to repeal open internet rules

The FCC voted to ditch regulations that prohibited ISPs from blocking or slowing content.

5 Minnesota reps support effort in U.S. House to restore net neutrality

Some members of the U.S. House are trying to undo the FCC's open internet rollback.

Minnesota's attorney general plans to join suit against FCC, wants net neutrality rules back in place

She wants a court to reverse the FCC's decision to gut open internet protections.

5 key points that explain how net neutrality became such a big deal

Net neutrality: One of the few things that's got Pinterest and Pornhub on the same page.

Could Minnesota establish its own net neutrality protections?

Two state lawmakers think so, and laid out their proposal this week.

Net neutrality: 5 images show how proposed rule changes could impact your life

Clear examples that explain what could happen if these open internet rules are dismantled.

Big internet names: We like net neutrality protections, don't get rid of them

Google, Netflix, Amazon, Uber, Snapchat, Reddit – and more – are some of the companies publicly talking about the rules.