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On his way out the door, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Republicans not to take away rules that are working and tols his allies to"stay vigilant" against such efforts.

The speech in a nutshell:

  • Net neutrality rules are critical to artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud-based technologies and the Internet of Things.
  • "No company using the internet is safe" if the rules treating broadband providers as so-called common carriers are unraveled.
  • Investment in web-based services is up, as are providers' revenue and stock prices; "So, where's the fire?"

The writing on the wall: The incoming Republican majority on the commission are widely expected to quickly start the process of reversing the rules, particularly the expansion of FCC oversight over broadband providers that comes with Title II. Congressional Republicans are gearing up to reverse Title II as well, and could try to limit FCC oversight powers more generally.

If you're a wonk: Overturning the net neutrality rules won't happen overnight. A federal court upheld the FCC's authority to adopt and enforce the net neutrality rules, meaning Republicans "will have a high hurdle to vault to prove to the same court why it's 2016 decision was wrong," Wheeler said.

While the FCC would need to go through a long process to roll back the rules, Congress could have an easier path with legislation. Rep. Greg Walden and Sen. John Thune, the committee leaders with jurisdiction over the FCC, are still strategizing. Meanwhile, new FCC leadership could simply decline to enforce the rules.

Go deeper

39 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.