The Federal Communications Commission of the United States voted on Thursday to repeal Obama-era Internet freedom regulation that blocked wireless providers from charging for pay-to-access.
The regulations safeguarded what has been classified as “net neutrality” that blocked web sites and services from being placed behind paywalls or speed layers by wireless Internet providers in the U.S., and is largely supported by Silicon Valley.
The vote was won in a simple majority where three voted to repeal Title II over two who voted to keep the regulations.
Democrat Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn voted against the repeal, with Republican-appointed Mike O’Reilly, Brendan Carr and Chairman Ajit Pai voting in favour.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, said shortly after the decision that he will lead a multi-state lawsuit in an attempt to halt the repeal of Internet regulation.
Schneiderman’s counterparts in California, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and several more have joined the lawsuit.
U.S. President Donald Trump said the FCC decision is important for jobs, in support of the repeal.
Netflix said in a statement that it was disappointed the FCC voted to “gut net neutrality protections”.
Canada’s government has made clear its own Internet freedom laws would stay in place and that web equality was crucial.
What is net neutrality?
Many say, including advocacy group Battle for the Net, that the rollback of “net neutrality” will result in paywalls for certain sites and the slowing of speeds for those that don’t pay their wireless provider more.
More details to follow. Image 1 of FCC leadership from Fierce Health Care.