The Federal Communications Commission, a United States agency that regulates communication through radio, television, wire, satellite and cable, on Thursday voted 3-2 to repeal the net neutrality rules it enforced in 2015 under the “Open Internet Order”, The Verge reported.
The vote means internet service providers can speed up or slow down user access to websites and charge consumers according to the services they use. The Federal Communications Commission will no longer have the power to enforce net neutrality rules if it wishes to.
Federal Communications Commission Chairperson Ajit Pai and Republican Party Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly voted in favour of the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order, which repeals the regulations. Democratic Party Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted against the order, TechCrunch reported.
“I dissent from this fiercely spun, legally lightweight, consumer-harming, corporate-enabling ‘Destroying Internet Freedom’ order,” Clyburn said. “There is a basic fallacy underlying the majority’s actions and rhetoric today: the assumption of what is best for broadband providers is best for the US. What saddens me is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you.”
Pai, however, claimed that consumers never had a problem with service providers blocking their access to content. “The internet wasn’t broken in 2015, and we were not living in some digital dystopia,” he said, adding that the main trouble consumers faced was not having access to the internet at all.