April 18, 2024

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The FCC will vote on April 25 on whether to reinstate net neutrality rules, which would prohibit Comcast, AT&T and other internet providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic or creating paid fast lanes to consumers.

With Democrats now holding a 3-2 majority on the commission, the proposal is expected to pass.

The most controversial aspect of the proposal, as it has been in the past, is to reinstate the FCC’s Title II authority over internet service. That regulatory maneuver, vigorously opposed by major internet providers, gives the agency the authority over broadband services. The Title II classification deems internet providers as common carriers, similar to that of landline phone service.

In a statement, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “After the prior administration abdicated authority over broadband services, the FCC has been handcuffed from acting to fully secure broadband networks, protect consumer data, and ensure the internet remains fast, open, and fair.  A return to the FCC’s overwhelmingly popular and court-approved standard of net neutrality will allow the agency to serve once again as a strong consumer advocate of an open internet.”

Rosenworcel was part of the Democratic majority that passed the previous set of net neutrality rules in 2015. But those were reversed in 2017, when Donald Trump took office and Republicans gained a majority on the commission.

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