By a 3-2 margin, the FCC voted today to maintain the 2017 repeal of net neutrality, the Obama era rules that forced all streams of streaming content to be treated the same. In other words, with net neutrality an ISP or a wireless network provider could not not allowed to block or throttle any streaming internet content. Nor could it charge extra to have that that content sent to customers via special fast lanes. When the Trump administration brought in its own FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC repealed net neutrality even though the majority of Americans are said to be in favor of keeping it.
FCC votes 3-2 to keep net neutrality repealed
Meanwhile, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the regulatory agency said “this agency is not interested in getting it right. Instead, it doubles down, rather than recognizing the realities of the world around us.” She added that the FCC’s argument is “a set of three cobbled-together arguments designed to tell the court to go away, the public that we are not interested in their opinion, and history that we lack the humility to admit our mistake. Among those opposing the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality are firefighters who found their service throttled when they were responding to a raging blaze. But here their fears are given short shrift. The agency simply concludes that the elimination of net neutrality is worth the risk, even when lives are at stake. This is irresponsible.” Another Democrat, Senator Ed Markey, said “without net neutrality protections, it’s just a matter of time before big broadband providers start raising prices, slowing down internet speeds, and making it harder for families, small business, and students to access the opportunities to recover and rebuild from this pandemic.”
Meanwhile, net neutrality has been a campaign issue for over a year and should Joe Biden win next week’s election, he is expected to select a new FCC chairman who is likely to restore net neutrality. Meanwhile, Chairman Pai responded by stating that “there is no evidence the Restoring Internet Freedom order has harmed public safety. By employing a light-touch, market-driven approach to regulation, broadband providers are better able to build stronger and more resilient networks that enhance public safety, including through services like next-generation 911.”