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[Update] The FCC is voting today to bring back net neutrality in the U.S.

[Update at 12:45 EST]:

The FCC has voted 3-2 to restore net neutrality protections on April 25, 2024. This decision reinstates the regulations that were abolished during the Trump administration and classifies internet access as an essential communications resource under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

The original article continues below.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting to reinstate net neutrality rules and regain authority over broadband internet, reversing the repeal under former President Donald Trump. In October 2023, the FCC voted 3-2 to propose reinstating open internet rules and reestablishing its authority over broadband internet. While major tech firms support the plans for reinstating net neutrality, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Comcast Corp oppose it.

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the Obama administration, passed a sweeping net neutrality order that prohibited Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling content and prevented them from creating "fast lanes" for certain types of content or services. However, in 2017, the then Republican-controlled FCC voted to reverse that order, freeing broadband providers to block or throttle content as they see fit.

While net neutrality advocates say that without net neutrality protections, ISPs might allow some companies to pay for priority treatment on broadband networks while limiting access to others. ISPs, on the other hand, argue that such rules are unnecessary and harmful to investment and innovation.

In 2023, the FCC voted 3-2 to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to reinstate net neutrality rules, which were repealed by the Trump FCC in 2018 at the request of the ISPs. The telecom industry and its allies in Congress have come out in opposition to the proposal.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, representing major tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, and Meta Platforms, supports the reinstatement of net neutrality rules, emphasizing the importance of preserving open access to the internet. On the other hand, USTelecom, which includes members such as AT&T and Verizon, opposes the effort to reinstate net neutrality, labeling it as "entirely counterproductive, unnecessary, and an anti-consumer regulatory distraction."

If the FCC votes in favor of adopting net neutrality rules again, it would ensure that broadband services are treated as an essential resource deserving of FCC oversight under Title II authority, hence restoring the FCC's authority to prevent broadband providers from blocking or slowing down content on the internet.

Via Reuters

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