The battle over “net neutrality” has entered a new phase after the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules, the AP reports.
The vote gives “Internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds,” the AP reports. The GOP-controlled panel voted 3-2 to scrap the rule that all Web traffic must be treated equally.
“The move represents a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight,” the AP reports. “The big telecommunications companies had lobbied hard to overturn the rules, contending they are heavy-handed and discourage investment in broadband networks.”
The report quotes Ajit Pai, the Republican FCC chairman, saying: “What is the FCC doing today? Quite simply, we are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence.”
The AP adds: “The FCC vote is unlikely to be the last word. Net neutrality supporters threatened legal challenges, with New York’s attorney general vowing to lead a multistate lawsuit. Some Democrats want to overturn the FCC action in Congress.”