Your Internet is safe. For now.
Photo by Flickr user Free Press.
The Federal Communications Commission convened this morning and voted 3-2 to approve new rules that would enforce net neutrality, protecting the open internet from the vile intentions of our corporate overlords. The regulations will prevent Internet service providers from speeding up traffic to sites that would pay for the service, or slowing down traffic for those that don’t (a practice called “throttling”). This also prohibits them from prioritizing content from their own partners. This is a big bummer for Internet service providers, and all their corporate friends, because if there’s one thing multibillion dollar corporations need it’s more economic perks.
“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler during the vote. "The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.
Although the FCC approved the rules in 2010, Verizon filed a successful appeal to challenge the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband Internet service.
Today’s vote essentially allows the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunication service, giving them free reign to impose the new rules on Internet service providers the same way it imposes rules on phone service providers.
John Oliver, one of our most beloved British imports, second only to Harry Potter, dedicated an entire episode to net neutrality arguing in its favor and siccing his fans on the FCC website, effectively breaking the comments section. Keeping the Internet open means keeping it democratic. A loss for Verizon is a win for freedom.