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FCC restores net neutrality, making internet access an 'essential service'

Net neutrality regulations were implemented during the Obama administration but were rolled back during the Trump administration.
The seal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 25, 2024

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to reinstate net neutrality regulations which were first implemented during the Obama administration.

According to the FCC, the vote brings back a set of rules across the country that make internet access an “essential service” again, and it stops providers from blocking, slowing down or favoring certain content for payment. It also keeps a close watch on outages to address any issues.

“We need broadband to reach 100 percent of us — and we need it fast, open, and fair,” Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC chairwoman, said before the vote Thursday.

Furthermore, the regulations allow the FCC to protect national security by stopping foreign-owned companies from operating broadband networks in the U.S. if they're a security threat, which the FCC states has happened before as it has stopped four Chinese state-owned carriers.

Net neutrality guidelines were first implemented in 2015, then rolled back in 2017 under the administration of former President Donald Trump. The FCC, under his administration, favored telecom industries, arguing that net neutrality would discourage investment by providers to improve technologies or be more innovative, as then reported by CNN.

The impact of this decision on current internet prices remains unknown. However, Rosenworcel said "In the wake of the pandemic, we know that broadband is a necessity, not a luxury," suggesting a hopeful outlook.

@scrippsnews The Federal Communications Commission voted to restore #NetNeutrality Thursday. What is net neutrality, and how does this decision affect you? We break down the potential impact on #internet speeds and access. #techtok #scrippsnews ♬ original sound - Scripps News