Net Neutrality Restored With FCC Vote

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On Thursday, April 25, a US regulator voted to restore “net neutrality,” with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saying that the move will help bring back “a national standard to ensure the internet is fast, open, and fair.”

The policy was initially implemented in 2015 during the Obama administration but was later repealed under the Trump administration.

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated as equal and that we should have an internet that’s open, free, and accessible to all.

So, for example, internet service providers (ISPs) can’t slow down your streaming services in order to convince you to get a different cable package.

 It’s also a freedom of speech concern because, if a handful of ISPs monopolize the internet, they have the power to suppress or limit online speech and freedom of expression. 

“Every consumer deserves internet access that is fast, open and fair,” Jessica Rosenworcel, the chairwoman of the FCC, said. “This is common sense.”

Why is it important?

In 2020, Rosenworcel said that the pandemic made it clear that “no matter who you are or where you live, you need broadband to have a fair shot at digital age success.”

“It went from nice-to-have to need-to-have for everyone, everywhere,” she added. “Broadband is now an essential service. Essential services – the ones we count on in every aspect of modern life – have some basic oversight,”

The policy was passed 3-2 with a split across party lines, with Democrats voting in favor of net neutrality while Republicans voted against it.

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