The Federal Communication Commission has voted in new regulations for the Internet.
The Democratic-led commission voted 3-to-2 ruling the FCC will keep internet providers from being able to create ‘fast lanes’ for sites willing to pay more for people to have faster access to their site over their competition.
The FCC also put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone, regulating it like a public utility.
That means whatever company provides your Internet connection, even if it’s to your phone, will now have to act in the public interest and not do anything that might be considered “unjust or unreasonable.”
If they don’t, you can complain and the FCC can step in to investigate.
“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules,” said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman.
“I believe in net neutrality and I believe in freedom of the net, I don’t think it should be regulated like they are in China I think we should find whatever we want to on it and I shouldn’t have to pay more to get faster services,” said Susan Gross of Bermuda Dunes.
The battle for net neutrality has been going on for more than 5 years and this is the FCC’s third attempt to establish these rules.
The next step for these new FCC rules is to be approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and that could take as long as 120 days.
Don’t expect to see any changes from broadband providers anytime soon. The major broadband companies are likely to fight the new rules in court this summer and many conservative lawmakers have expressed interest in reversing the decision.
“Today is a red-letter day for Internet freedom,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, whose remarks at Thursday’s meeting frequently prompted applause by Internet activists in the audience.
President Barack Obama, who had come out in favor of net neutrality in the fall, portrayed the decision as a victory for democracy in the digital age. In an online letter, he thanked the millions who wrote to the FCC and spoke out on social media in support of the change.