Net neutrality supporters project a message onto a building in Washington, DC. Photo: Mari Matsuri/AFP/Getty Images

The FCC’s net neutrality rules end Monday but the years-long battle over how to deal with the issue continues, as advocates fight to restore the rules.

Why it matters: With content companies and internet service providers consolidating and online platforms expanding, the government's choice of whether to police the equal treatment of web traffic has greater consequences than ever.

What’s next? Net neutrality backers describe a multi-pronged strategy to restore the strong rules they prefer.

  • The short game: On Capitol Hill, Democrats in the House are trying to get enough Republican signatures to force a vote on a resolution that would restore the FCC's rules. The measure already passed in the Senate, but the House is more difficult. “I think it’s an uphill fight,” said Chris Lewis, vice president at Public Knowledge.
  • The long game: Public interest groups and Silicon Valley companies are among those who are suing over the repeal of the rules. Oral arguments in the case could come later this year in federal court, they say. “It’s just a longer timeline,” said Lewis.
  • What to watch: Democrats hope to make net neutrality a campaign-trail issue in the months before the midterm election, and state officials have tried to institute their own rules.
  • Above all, vigilance: Advocates say they fully expect internet service providers to strike deals or take action that will discriminate against certain content. "This will not happen right away, because everyone is watching, but it certainly will happen in the months and years to come," said Andrew Schwartzman of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center.
  • What not to expect this year: Compromise legislation that sees Congress create new, permanent net neutrality rules, which Republicans have been pushing for some time. Democrats worry that effort would end up stripping the FCC of some broadband-related authorities. “The odds for other legislation in 2018 are zero,” said Matt Wood, Free Press’ policy director.

The bottom line: The end of the rules is far from the end of this story. Additional consolidation in the telecom space (a judge will rule Tuesday on whether AT&T’s Time Warner deal can go forward) and developments over the court case will keep advocates and opponents of net neutrality regulations busy.

Go deeper: Axios’ Kim Hart has more on the end of the rules and our ongoing coverage is here.

Go deeper

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Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Biden to Senate GOP after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.