Net Neutrality will quickly be a mere stain in our history, after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality.
The net neutrality regulations that was implemented under Obama’s administration is being repealed with with a 3-2 vote.
The agency’s Republican majority approved a plan to scrap the rules preventing internet providers like Comcast and AT&T from blocking or slowing web traffic, or creating so-called paid internet fast lanes.
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Instead, providers will be required to disclose their practices, with the FTC expected to police anti-competitive behavior.
The regulations that were in place prohibited internet providers from blocking certain websites or even charging more for “higher-quality service.”
Now high-speed internet will no longer be regulated like utility by the federal government.
The action reversed the agency’s 2015 decision, during the Obama administration, to better protect Americans as they have migrated to the internet for most communications.
FCC Chairman of Commission Ajit Pai voted along party lines with his two other fellow Republican commissioners.
“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” he added before the vote, “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”
The discarding of net neutrality regulations is the most significant and controversial action by the F.C.C. under Mr. Pai. In his first 11 months as chairman, he has lifted media ownership limits, eased caps on how much broadband providers can charge business customers and cut back on a low-income broadband program that was slated to be expanded to nationwide carriers.
His plan, first outlined early this year, set off a flurry of opposition. Critics of the changes say consumers may have more difficulty finding content online and that start-ups will have to pay to reach consumers. In the last week, there have been hundreds of protests across the country, and many websites have encouraged users to speak up against the repeal. Some groups have said they planned to file a lawsuit challenging the change.
“I dissent, because I am among the millions outraged,” said Mignon Clyburn, one of the two Democratic commissioners who voted against the action. “Outraged, because the F.C.C. pulls its own teeth, abdicating responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers.”
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