Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-to-2 to end protections that guarantee that internet service providers (ISP) treat all data and websites equally. The decision will rescind rules put in place by the Obama administration in 2015 unless Congress intervenes.
Net neutrality means that ISPs such as Comcast have to give equal access to all websites, meaning they cannot allow some content to load faster than other content or force consumers to pay for premium packages to gain access to popular sites like Netflix or Twitter.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued that the new regulations were unnecessary as these successful internet companies developed prior to the institutionalization of the rules. Opponents of the repeal say that it threatens the existence of the free and open internet.
The move has renewed calls for Seattle to pursue municipal broadband to guarantee unfettered access to the internet to its residents.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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