FCC repeals net neutrality

The FCC voted to repeal its 2015 net neutrality rules, which had mandated that telcos treat all of their web traffic equally. As expected, the repeal passed on a party line vote, with the agency’s three Republican members voting in favor. FCC head Ajit Pai, who joined the agency in 2012 before President Donald Trump elevated him to Chairman earlier this year, had long advocated the policy change. The vote also marks a major victory for the telecom industry, which had fiercely opposed the Obama-era regulations. Net neutrality advocates have argued that telcos will now be empowered to slow or block certain web traffic, or to create paid “fast lanes” for consumers and publishers. The agency’s Republican commissioner’s say that companies will still have to disclose such decisions to the public, and that another powerful agency – the FTC – will be able to step in if telcos engage in anticompetitive practices.

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