FCC Vote Restores Net Neutrality Rules for Broadband Providers

The 3-to-2 vote reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications utility service to be regulated

TheWrap/Christopher Smith/Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to restore net neutrality, the government oversight of broadband providers.

First put in place under the Obama administration, the regulations aim to prevent Internet service providers like Comcast or Verizon from interfering with the delivery of streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. Former President Donald Trump later repealed the rules.

The five-member commission appointed by President Biden revived the rules in a 3-to-2 vote along party lines. In addition to classifying broadband as a utility, the rules also give the FCC capacity to demand providers report and respond to outages, as well as oversight into security issues.

According to the New York Times, FCC chairwoman and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel said the decision reflects how important high-speed Internet is when it comes to communication for Americans.

“Every consumer deserves Internet access that is fast, open and fair,” Rosenworcel said. “This is common sense.”

Broadband providers could now attempt to overturn the reinstated rules with legal action and lawsuits. Rosenworcel received a letter this week from Republican lawmakers warning that the revival of broadband regulations would hinder the expansion of the telecommunications industry.

The letter cites how “Congress recognized that the “Internet and other interactive computer services have flourished, to the benefit of all Americans, with a minimum of government regulation,” and says the “proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service does the exact opposite” of preserving the “vibrant and competitive” free market for Internet and interactive computer services.

The main goal of the re-established regulations is to prevent Internet service providers from controlling the quality of consumers’ experience accessing websites and online services. Tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon suggested broadband providers and telecom companies would be motivated to interfere in the accessibility of the Internet in order to demand payment from streaming services and social media, which challenged their previous business model.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.