The Federal Communications Commission just officially killed net neutrality by repealing 2015 Obama-era landmark rules that prohibited internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai rolled out the plan to dismantle the landmark net neutrality policy, and on Thursday, the commission's 3-2 vote made it official, leaving the industry to basically police itself.
The action marks a victory for big internet service providers, such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, which opposed the rules. The vote gives them sweeping powers to decide what web content consumers can get and at what price.
According to Pai, rules that govern telecommunications, cable and broadcasting companies are harmful to business, and this move is the most forceful action in his race to roll them up.
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them...,” he said in a statement.
Pai first proposed the plan in May, and since then, the department received more than 22 million comments from the public.
Net neutrality rules were intended to ensure an open internet. After all, internet service providers and governments regulating the internet should treat all data on the internet the same, refraining from discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, etc.
As Pai and the department were able to move us closer to experiencing a very different internet, people took to Twitter to express outrage.
"So the FCC" overturns #NetNeutrality because Trump want more money for his billionaire buddies. Tax Scam is not enough.— Fredon Moniteau (@FMoniteau) December 14, 2017
Bravo for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who announced he will sue to overturn.#TheResistance #MAGA #Trump #FoxNews #Resist #ImpeachTrump pic.twitter.com/1lAKrJBISe
Spread the word of #NetNeutrality— Dwayne & Jasmine (@_dwaynenjazz) November 22, 2017
The FCC wants to CHARGE YOU MONEY to access websites and online services like YouTube, Steam and even Google!!!
We cannot let this happen. We need to fight back! Make your voices heard and let them know we won't stand for this!!!
In Portugal, with no net neutrality, internet providers are starting to split the net into packages. pic.twitter.com/TlLYGezmv6— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) October 27, 2017
Just a friendly reminder that 55% of Americans only have one option for a broadband internet provider.— Quincy Larson (@ossia) November 22, 2017
Free market competition doesn't work when there is no competition.
That's why we need the 3 basic rules of #NetNeutrality: no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization.
Once again, the Trump administration sides with big money and against democracy. If this passes, the internet and its free exchange of information as we have come to know it will cease to exist. #NetNeutrality https://t.co/1oKLkWOpYn— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 21, 2017
It’s not #NetNeutrality. It’s #DigitalFreedom. Ajit Pai and @realDonaldTrump want to allow their sleazy crony telecom friends to steal your online freedom. They want you to trust the “we’ll be there between 10 and 6” telecoms. Don’t let them. #GoFCCyourself— Brett Erlich (@bretterlich) November 22, 2017
Some reminded internet users that the rule changes must now be reviewed and passed by Congress, so now it's the citizens' turn to act by contacting their representatives. The FCC might have voted to put the power back into corporations' hands, but right now, the power of the people could change that.
Just a reminder that while Net Neutrality was repealed, it still has to pass by congress.— Ryan Joyner (@TheRyanJoyner) December 14, 2017
Don't forget that a few years ago the courts rejected the FCC twice.#fightfortheinternet #NetNeutrality
Text “BATTLE” to 384-387 pic.twitter.com/EyOtp9js4t
Spotlight/Banner: Reuters, Eric Gaillard