FCC will vote on restoring net neutrality rules

2024-04-03 10:41


Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
Photo by Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on April 25th on a proposal to restore net neutrality rules, the agency announced on Wednesday.

If the five-member panel votes to restore the rules, internet service providers (ISP) will be reclassified from information services to common carriers, bringing stricter regulations with the change.

The idea of net neutrality is to keep ISPs from treating internet traffic differently by throttling or blocking, for example. The FCC installed net neutrality rules back in 2015, but they were repealed in 2017 under a Trump-nominated chair. Republicans on the commission believed that removing what they saw to be onerous rules would lead to greater innovation. Democrats believed that repealing the rules would lead to disruptive throttling of internet traffic. Though neither scenario really came true, some point to net neutrality rules in California and the lingering threat of return at the federal level as heading off major changes that could soon be undone.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, introduced a proposal to bring back net neutrality in October last year, kicking off the rulemaking process. That process came later than many progressives anticipated because of a long delay in confirming a third Democrat to the commission to secure the votes.

“After the prior administration abdicated authority over broadband services, the FCC has been handcuffed from acting to fully secure broadband networks, protect consumer data, and ensure the internet remains fast, open, and fair,” Rosenworcel said in a statement on Wednesday. “A return to the FCC’s overwhelmingly popular and court-approved standard of net neutrality will allow the agency to serve once again as a strong consumer advocate of an open internet.”

If the commissioners vote to approve the proposal, the reclassification and much of the rules will take effect 60 days after they’re published to the federal register.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/3/24119889/net-neutrality-fcc-vote-rules-restore