Net neutrality rules will officially end in April

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(CNN) -

The end of net neutrality is officially set to come this spring.

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality is scheduled to take effect on April 23, according to a copy of the order was published with the Federal Register on Thursday.

The Republican-led FCC voted along party lines in December to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections, which were intended to keep the internet open and fair.

With the repeal, the FCC will do away with rules barring internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to online content. The FCC will also eliminate a rule barring providers from prioritizing their own content.

The repeal effort was cheered by the telecom industry, but protested by the tech industry and consumer advocacy groups.

The publication of the net neutrality order is expected to formally kick off a wave of legal challenges and Congressional attempts to undo the FCC's repeal.

Attorneys general from more than 20 red and blue states filed a lawsuit last month to stop the repeal. Tech companies like Mozilla also filed lawsuits at the same time. On Thursday, Mozilla re-filed its lawsuit.

"We had originally filed suit early while simultaneously urging the court that the correct date was after this publication," Denelle Dixon, chief legal and business officer at Mozilla, wrote in a postThursday. "That is why today, immediately after the order was published, Mozilla re-filed our suit challenging the FCC net neutrality order."

Senate Democrats are also close to having enough votes to pass a measure that would restore net neutrality, though that measure would then face an uphill battle getting the support of the House and President Trump.

A growing number of Democratic state legislators have attempted to take matters into their own hands by pushing bills to restore net neutrality within their borders.

This too could end up in court, however. As part of the final order, the FCC asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

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