Thursday, April 25, 2024

FCC Reinstates Network Neutrality

Jon Brodkin (Hacker News, Slashdot):

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to impose net neutrality rules today, restoring the common-carrier regulatory framework enforced during the Obama era and then abandoned while Trump was president.

The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling lawful content and ban paid prioritization.


The court battle against the FCC will center on whether the commission can define broadband as a telecommunications service, a necessary step for imposing Title II common-carrier regulations.


“Congress never passed a law saying the Internet should be heavily regulated like a utility, nor did it pass one giving the FCC the authority to make that determination. The executive branch pressured the agency into claiming a power that remained, and remains, with the legislative branch,” [Brendan] Carr said.

I don’t recall that argument going anywhere before. Congress seems unlikely to clarify its intent, so maybe this seesaws back and forth depending on who controls the FCC.


Update (2024-04-26): See also: Cecilia Kang (via Hacker News).

Update (2024-04-29): Nick Heer:

Bode has, for years, covered the effort to paint the reversal of net neutrality rules as inconsequential. Contrary to popular belief, the reclassification to a Title I service produced plenty of ill effects. Part of the problem was in mainstream coverage of what the rules meant and, similarly, in what their 2018 undoing would entail.

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