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Robin Groulx / Axios

The long-anticipated rollback of net neutrality rules has officially begun. The FCC voted along party lines on Thursday to formally consider Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to scrap the legal foundation for the rules and to ask the public for comments on the future of prohibitions on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

Why it matters: This is the next step in the decade-long political fight over how to regulate the networks that have redefined politics, culture and the economy. Silicon Valley and telecom giants have opposing views of how web traffic should be treated on the way to reaching consumers — an increasing issue now that digital content is supplanting nearly every other format. The FCC has already been flooded with heated comments from both sides of the battle.

What's next:

  • The FCC will take comments from the public about the proposal, setting up a final vote that Pai has said he hopes will come later this year. That could be complicated if Democrat Mignon Clyburn leaves the commission when her term ends in June. With only two members, the commission would lack a quorum.
  • Expect significant pushback from Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups, who were out in force protesting the proposal before Thursday's FCC meeting.
  • Congressional Republicans hope today's vote will push their Democratic colleagues to make a legislative deal on the issue — but right now, that seems unlikely.

Go deeper

More than a dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

Police tape in Austin, Texas in 2018. Photo: y Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

Why America's post-vaccine summer is off to a slow start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.