On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to adopt the Restoring Internet Freedom Order and in doing so, scrapped its net neutrality rules that were put in place in 2015.
Net Neutrality is a principle that allows for an open and free internet. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs”) are the gatekeepers to all content on the internet. Net Neutrality rules prohibited ISPs from unfairly discriminating against others by speeding up, slowing down, throttling, or blocking the delivery of internet traffic. Net Neutrality is what gives users the freedom as they browse through web pages, apps or any other content available on the internet.
By scrapping the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, ISPs will be free to act without burdensome regulations, which imposed substantial costs, chilled investment, and lessened innovation. ISPs, however, will be required to disclose information about their practice to consumers, entreprenuers, and the Commission, including any blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, or affiliated prioritization. While the FCC is returning to a light touch approach, its action restores the FTC’s jurisdiction to act when ISPs or broadband providers get out of line through unfair, deceptive, or anticompetitive acts.