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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

44 mins ago - Sports

U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel wins 50-meter freestyle final, sets new Olympic record

Caeleb Dressel during the men's 100m butterfly final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Xavier Laine/Getty Images

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel won gold and set an Olympic record in the men's 50-meter freestyle on Saturday, beating his own world record that he set in 2020.

Details: Dressel didn't take a breath while in the pool to win the race in 21.07 seconds. France's Florent Manaudou won the silver medal, and Brazil’s Bruno Fratus bagged the bronze.

2 hours ago - Health

Florida records most new daily COVID cases in state since pandemic began

Nurses bring a portable x-ray machine to a treatment tent outside the emergency department at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida, set up to serve as an overflow area as the number of COVID-19 infections surges throughout Brevard County. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida reported 21,683 new COVID-19 cases — the most in the state in a single day since the pandemic began, per data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday.

The big picture: Florida is now the U.S. coronavirus epicenter, with the Delta variant driving a surge, Axios Tampa Bay's Ben Montgomery notes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

Chart: Less than 0.1% of vaccinated Americans tested positive for COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: CDC and state Covid dashboards. Dani Alberti/Axios

Of the 164 million vaccinated Americans, around 125,000 people have tested positive for breakthrough infections and 0.001% have died, according to state data compiled from state dashboards by NBC and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: While "breakthrough cases" have been getting media attention, the low numbers show that the pandemic is mostly a threat for the unvaccinated population.