FCC Votes to Repeal "Net Neutrality"

As expected, the FCC repealed net neutrality at 1:12pm ET, Thursday December 14th, 2017. The vote was 3-2, with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel against and Chairman Pai, along with Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O'Reilly in favor.

This vote was not without drama. In his speech, Commissioner Carr mentioned that some public comments directed to him ranged from obscene language he would not repeat to saying he looked like a potato. In the middle of the FCC's Chairman Pai's comments, security approached him and he quickly told the audience that he had been advised to recess by the security. Returning maybe 10 minutes later, Pai said that the federal investigative service had recommended a recess. Additionally, the comments on this particular proceeding received over 24 million comments, the most of any to date.

In the words of Chairman Pai, "it is time for the internet, once again, to be driven by engineers, entrepreneurs, and consumers, rather than lawyers, accountants, and bureaucrats." This proceeding reverses the classification of broadband internet providers as Title II providers. However, it retains transparency measures as well as a preemptive clause stating that states cannot regulate in the absence of FCC regulation. Additionally, the ruling re-opens the FTC to prosecute on anti-trust laws, whereas the previous Title II classification forced the FCC to make all rulings within the Internet under Title II regulations. While the two in dissent joined by a vocal group of the general public may disagree, this net neutrality repeal is good for consumers and ISPs alike.

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