‘Net Neutrality’ Rule on the Way Out

The Story: 

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, on November 21, said that the FCC will vote on repeal of the controversial “net neutrality” rule at its next meeting, December 14. Repeal is expected to prevail on a party line 3-2 vote.

What It Means:

“Net neutrality” is the principle that internet service providers must treat all internet traffic equally, without regard to what use their customers are making of it. The FCC enacted a rule to this effect in April 2015.

Opponents of the rule characterize it as unnecessary and burdensome regulation, and contend that ISPs never presented the threat that the rule is designed to ward off.

The Thing to Know:

In a sense, the expected repeal constitutes a passing of the buck from one agency to another. It would then become the responsibility of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to deter or punish anti-competitive discrimination by ISPs.

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