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FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rule

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to approve a rule to regulate internet service providers to promote an open internet often known as net neutrality. The vote marks a stark loss for the ISPs who aggressively fought the rule and has said they plan to sue to overturn it.

After a federal court rejected a compromise proposal using Section 702 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 due to a lawsuit of the ISP companies, the FCC has decided to approve a more rigorous and legally sound rule under Title II authority of the Communications Act of 1934. The use of this rule means ISPs will be classified as “common carriers” and regulated as utilities.

The vote was 3-2 with both Republican commissioners – Michael O’Rielly and Ajit Pai – opposing the rule and citing the dangers of regulation in stopping service innovation and expansion of internet access. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the internet was too important to be controlled by either “government or corporate,” calling the internet too important to have ISP “making all the rules.”

Net Neutrality was not the only substantial vote today. The FCC also moved to promote community broadband which was, like the Net Neutrality rule, opposed by the ISP firms and Republican members on the commission. The rule helps local governments build internet infrastructure if ISPs refuse to invest in their communities.

All in all, a tough day for the telecommunications industry and a good one for the public.

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rule

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.