Bye, net neutrality: FCC votes to repeal open internet rules

The FCC voted to ditch regulations that prohibited ISPs from blocking or slowing content.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Essentials

1. Federal net neutrality rules that stopped internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or deliberately slowing lawful sites and apps (charging them if they want to access faster lanes) are now dead.

2. The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to reclassify how internet service is regulated – in effect, dismantling the open internet rules put in place two years ago to ensure all content was treated equally. (A security threat briefly interrupted the vote, but things returned to normal after a few minutes.)

3. Advocacy groups, large web companies and some lawmakers (mostly, though not all, Democrats) have been waging a public battle to stop this move since it was announced months ago. They argue it'll hurt consumers, who could face having to pay extra for packages to access certain content.

The Big Picture

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai – a former Verizon exec who voted against the open internet proposal in 2015, and the main voice leading the charge to make these changes – argues the net neutrality rules stifle investments and innovation

In a video for the Daily Caller, he explained you'll still be able to shop and meme and Snap to your heart's content.

But critics say the end result will still favor telecom companies and hurt consumers. The elimination of open internet rules means ISPs could sell content packages, and block services behind a paywall – say an extra $4.99 a month if you want access to sites like Netflix and Hulu.

What could that look like? Check out our previous story:

Net neutrality: 5 images show how proposed rule changes could impact your life

To be clear: This rule changes doesn't mean broadband companies 100 percent will do this. But there are no longer regulations stopping them from doing so.

And it could yet be subject to a legal battle, with Netflix among the internet companies saying they're preparing to take action.

More GoMN coverage of net neutrality

5 key points that explain how net neutrality became such a big deal

How the heck we got here, and what ISPs have said about net neutrality.

Big internet names: We like net neutrality protections, don't get rid of them

Amazon, eBay, Google, Netflix, Reddit, Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter, Uber and dozens of others show their support for an open internet.

FCC's plans to nix some net neutrality rules would 'destroy the internet,' Franken says

The soon-to-be former Sen. Al Franken, a vocal supporter of net neutrality rules, has previously discussed the proposal.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.

P.J. Fleck

Looks like the Gophers can put Fleck-to-Tennessee rumors to rest

Fleck is annually a hot commodity when coaching jobs open up.

Matt Dumba

Wild drop front end of back-to-back with Kings

The Wild lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Related

Minnesota's attorney general plans to join suit against FCC, wants net neutrality rules back in place

She wants a court to reverse the FCC's decision to gut open internet protections.

Net neutrality supporters will try to 'break the internet' Tuesday

Net neutrality supporters are taking action Tuesday – here's what to expect while you're browsing.

FCC's plans to nix some net neutrality rules would 'destroy the internet,' Franken says

Some say the FCC's new plan would make the internet less fair – others say it'd create more opportunity.

Big internet names: We like net neutrality protections, don't get rid of them

Google, Netflix, Amazon, Uber, Snapchat, Reddit – and more – are some of the companies publicly talking about the rules.