FCC Has Officially Voted To End Net Neutrality

FCC Has Officially Voted To End Net Neutrality

FCC Has Officially Voted To End Net Neutrality

Although Rosenworcel and Clyburn were clearly unhappy with the outcome of Thursday's vote, both expressed optimism in their dissenting opinions that net neutrality may live to see another day.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the 2015 rules implemented under the Obama administration. With Republicans now controlling the commission, he moved to end the policy.

The FCC's new rules could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet.

In a statement, Flake said the FCC privacy rules would "limit consumer choice, stifle innovation, and jeopardize data security by destabilizing the internet ecosystem". He said existing law already protects consumers. The principle formerly served to ensure that internet service providers would not have the ability to block any content or throttle specific sites.

But it's not that simple.

All that being said, the FCC is essentially a partisan body because the President appoints members (though they require Senate confirmation).

After the FCC released its plan in late November, well-known telecom and media analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson wrote in a note to investors that the FCC plan dismantles "virtually all of the important tenets of net neutrality itself".

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ISPs argue that the internet was able to flourish prior to the 2015 implementation of the rules, and that the repeal of net neutrality would be unlikely to have a meaningful effect on internet service, suggesting that the rules are merely unnecessary regulation.

The Internet Association, a DC-based trade body representing Google, Facebook and other IT companies, said the rollback was a "departure from more than a decade of broad, bipartisan consensus on the rules governing the internet" and that it was weighing legal options in a lawsuit. "You injured the rules so it's harder for the agency to enforce privacy, and now the agency has abandoned privacy rules completely". Constituents shouted and waved signs at a Flake town hall meeting in April.

New Yorkers deserve the right to a free and open Internet. "Flake betrayed you", it said, and listed his $185,000 in contributions from the telecommunications industry.

Once repealed, several state attorneys general have said they will work to oppose the FCC ruling, citing problems with comments made to the FCC during the public comment period. "We'll work tirelessly to fix the many legal, factual and moral failings that the FCC majority used to prop up its flawed and foundering decision".

Flake's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the FCC vote represents a massive blow to net neutrality, Wired reports that many believe the issue will ultimately be decided by Congress, which has the power to overturn the decision - though this may be a long-shot. Falcon estimates that Flake and others could have an opportunity to vote on that review within the next three to six months.

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