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FCC votes to restore net neutrality ended during Trump administration

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to restore Obama-era net neutrality guidelines that were axed during the Trump administration.

The FCC decision was a 3-2 vote, with all Democrats on the commission voting in favor of restoring the net neutrality guidelines and the two Republicans voting against the move. The initial and controversial move to end net neutrality during the Trump era was met with fierce backlash online, although many of the fears expressed by opponents never came to fruition.

Net neutrality is the requirement that internet service providers do not discriminate based on the source or destination of data. It classifies providers as common carriers under Title 2 of the Communications Act, meaning they can be regulated more heavily, as if they were telecommunications providers.

The push to restore net neutrality began last year when the commission voted to consider a proposed rule to reverse the 2017 vote ending it, which was spearheaded by then-FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He was pilloried online at the time, with critics incorrectly predicting it would result in dire consequences for internet users.

Critics had contended that certain websites or platforms would end up getting throttled or charged extra, but those fears never materialized.

Earlier this month, Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the move would help the FCC be a “strong consumer advocate of an open internet.”

The move to restore net neutrality has some opponents. David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, said that the internet has grown and flourished without heavy regulation from the FCC.

“It’s an attempt to correct a problem that didn’t exist,” Williams told the Washington Examiner ahead of the vote. “And quite frankly, it’s just wanting to grow the size of government, because this gives the FCC more power and more control over the internet.”

Washington Examiner


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