The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted in favour of repealing the so-called ‘Net Neutrality’ rules at its open meeting on 14 December. The plan, which was pushed through via FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s ‘Restoring Internet Freedom Order’, was approved following a 3-2 vote – split along Republican-Democrat party lines. Pai told NBC News: ‘Prior to 2015, before these regulations were imposed, we had a free and open internet. That is the future as well under a “light touch”, market-based approach. Consumers benefit, entrepreneurs benefit. Everybody in the internet economy is better off with a market based approach.’ The divisive move is expected to generate widespread protests and legal action from defenders of the Obama-era rules.
Net Neutrality is the principle that ISPs must treat all data on the internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently depending on user, content, website or application.