Home » FCC votes to bring back Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules that were repealed under Trump

FCC votes to bring back Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules that were repealed under Trump

by NBC News

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to restore the policy of net neutrality, a set of rules that requires broadband internet providers to treat all internet traffic more or less equally. 

The move is a continuation of a battle that has raged for 20 years, with competing visions about what an open and efficient internet should look like. 

The vote was 3-2, with the FCC’s Democratic majority in favor and the Republican minority opposed. The vote largely restores a policy that was put in place in 2015 during the Obama administration and then repealed during the Trump administration in 2017. 

The net neutrality rules are designed to ensure that websites and apps have equal access to the global internet regardless of their size or ability to pay the companies that own the web’s infrastructure, such as network cables and cell towers. They block broadband internet providers from manipulating speeds or creating internet “fast lanes” where a company might pay extra for faster uploads and downloads of its content. 

“Through its actions today, the Commission creates a national standard by which it can ensure that broadband internet service is treated as an essential service,” the commission said in a statement. 

The vote means that broadband services will be treated as Title II telecommunications services, a category of federal law that originally referred to phone networks to ensure they were nondiscriminatory. It makes the internet closer to an essential service, like power or water. 

“Broadband access to the Internet is a critical conduit that is essential for modern life,” Anna Gomez, a Democratic appointee to the commission, said in a statement. 

“The value is so great that we cannot wait for the flood to arrive before we start to build the levee,” she said. 

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement before the vote that the rules are the same as ones upheld in a federal court ruling in 2016. She said they would be helpful…

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