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FCC votes to end Obama era 'net neutrality' rules for internet

FCC votes to end Obama era 'net neutrality' rules for internet

The FCC votes on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era 'net neutrality' rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.

Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Trump, has framed the repeal as getting the government to "stop micromanaging the internet."

The move is supported by the telecom industry, which claims existing regulations threaten to hamper broadband investments and innovation.

Technology companies and consumer advocacy groups have loudly protested the repeal effort for months, both online and offline, arguing it could spell the end of the internet as we know it.

The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support. The intention was to keep the internet open and fair.

Under the rules, internet service providers are required to treat all online content the same. They can't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites or apps, nor can they put their own content at an advantage over rivals.

To take a classic example, this means Comcast can't just choose to slow down a service like Netflix (NFLX) to make its own streaming video service more competitive, nor can it try to squeeze Netflix to pay more money to be part of a so-called internet fast lane.

As Michael Cheah, general counsel at video site Vimeo, previously told CNNMoney: the point of the rules is "allowing consumers to pick the winners and losers and not [having] the cable companies make those decisions for them."

 

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