FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

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WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 14: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a commission meeting December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. The FCC is scheduled to vote on a proposal to repeal net-neutrality. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) —The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.

The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday.

The FCC’s new rules could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet. The agency got rid of rules that barred companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from playing favorites with internet apps and sites.

The broadband industry promises that the internet experience isn’t going to change. But protests have erupted online and in the streets as everyday Americans worry that cable and phone companies will be able to control what they see and do online.

Net-neutrality supporters plan legal challenges. Some Democrats hope to ride that wave of public opinion into the 2018 elections.

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9 comments

  • KristenRachel Posey

    This is taking most of the FREE from “Freedom of Speech”!
    The biggest ways for Communication are through the internet. Every part of Life includes the internet to some extent. We need the internet to look, apply for, and; in many cases, work for our money, then to access our money. Taking away Netneutraluty is taking away the internet.

    • Not a fan of Big Government

      Easy there chicken little. the internet was fine for all of it’s existence until 2 years ago, when these over reaching Excessive governmental controls were put in place.

      • Dennis B Murphy

        Easy there “not a fan” The rules by the previous admin were put in place as protection against the growing threat that internet providers would begin to put funnels and limits on the pipeline to our homes. I pay for INTERNET access NOT for Comcast to themselves favor the Comcast shopping network and make it harder for me to order from Amazon. Internet providers were investigating ways to monetize their service even more and that was one means. The 2015 rules were precisely to protect consumers IN ADVANCE. Why wait to implement rules after companies already implemented monetizing policies?

        The fact is that the net was evolving rapidly and will continue to do so but it will not if 3-4 major corporations have a chokehold on it

        • Dennis B Murphy

          The Obama era FCC reclassified the internet as a communications network- which is certainly is! Example of a provider interfering with consumers using the network started in 2007. Ostensibly this was about internet SPEED and capacity but could easily be about WHICH sites you are accessing

          quote: In 2007, several subscribers of Comcast high-speed Internet discovered that Comcast was interfering with their use of peer-to-peer networking applications. Challenging Comcast’s interference, Free Press and Public Knowledge—two non-profit advocacy organizations—filed a complaint with the FCC. The complaint stated that Comcast’s actions violated the FCC Internet Policy Statement, particularly violating the statement’s principle that “consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice… [and] to run applications and use services of their choice.” Comcast defended its interference with consumers’ peer-to-peer programs as necessary to manage scarce network capacity.

          Following this complaint, the FCC issued an order censuring Comcast from interfering with subscribers’ use of peer-to-peer software—the FCC’s second attempt to enforce its network neutrality policy with the first being the Madison River investigation.The order began with the FCC stating it had jurisdiction over Comcast’s network management practices under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. § 154). Specifically, the Communications Act of 1934 granted the FCC the power to “perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with [the Act], as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.”[3] Next, the FCC ruled that Comcast impeded consumers’ ability to access content and use applications of their choice. Additionally, because other options were available for Comcast to manage their network policy without discriminating against peer-to-peer programs, the FCC found that Comcast’s method of bandwidth management breached federal policy. Comcast complied with the order and appealed.

  • Joe Canuski

    This is akin to the FAA giving control of the airplane traffic to the airlines….the little guy gets screwed again by corporate greed. I never thought I would ever say this: I think it’s time for Revolution 2.0!!!

  • P

    If the democrats are for net neutrality, than you can be sure it is very bad for middle America. It was only good for the welfare crowd.

  • Shabadoo Simmons

    Ajit the former Verizon Lawyer… You can bet this will be very good for Verizon, AT&T and Comcast.
    Not so good for common folk.
    Drain the swamp? MAGA? Looking out fo rus?
    hahahaha you’re a sucker if you voted for Trump.

  • Laughing Out Loud

    Frankly, I wasn’t up to speed on this issue and did some digging. The most concise quote was found in the Washington Free Beacon, dated December 14:
    “Following detailed legal and economic analysis, as well as extensive examination of comments from consumers and stakeholders, the Commission reversed the FCC’s 2015 heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband internet access service, which imposed substantial costs on the entire internet ecosystem,” the FCC said. “In place of that heavy-handed framework, the FCC is returning to the traditional light-touch framework that was in place until 2015.”

    Guess what kids, net neutrality changed the internet from an information service (what it is) to a utility (what it is not), and a ton of tree-killing bureaucrats and lawyers were depending on it for their livelihood.