The FCC just killed net neutrality, and nobody is happy
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal Title II restrictions, which were set in place during the Obama administration, that require internet service providers like Version, Comcast and Charter to meet certain standards. And those standards include net neutrality.
As a brief refresher, net neutrality laws require ISPs to give the same service to everyone at the same speed for the same price. The Title II restrictions came into practice in 2015 to make internet companies more closely aligned to utility companies like gas and electric. People tend to like these rules. As Mic previously reported, about 83% of Americans opposed the net neutrality repeal.
And they aren’t alone. Many business and political leaders, as well as individual companies, took to the internet following the vote to express their anger and frustration at both the FCC and its chairman, former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai.
“We’re disappointed in the decision to gut
#NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement,” Netflix said in a tweet. “This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders
“This is an egregious attack on our democracy. The end of
#NetNeutrality protections means that the internet will be for sale to the highest bidder,” Sanders tweeted. “When our democratic institutions are already in peril, we must do everything we can to stop this decision from taking effect.”
@FCC’s vote to gut #NetNeutrality rules is a body blow to innovation and free expression,” Twitter wrote on its public policy page. “We will continue our fight to defend the open internet and reverse this misguided decision.”
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian
“The FCC’s vote was predictably frustrating, but we’re not done fighting for net neutrality,” Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, wrote in a tweet. He also shared a link on how his site plans to continue the fight for neutrality.
Sen. Angus King
“The open internet is a vital part of 21st century life, and a force for good in the American economy — which is why today’s
@FCC vote to repeal net neutrality protections was such a monumental mistake,” the independent senator from Maine shared on Twitter.
Sen. Ron Wyden
“Rural communities, education and our economy will be worse off now that
@AjitPaiFCC chose Big Cable over consumers and will repeal #NetNeutrality,” the senator from Oregon, who is a Democrat, wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Kamala Harris
In a series of tweets Sen. Harris, a Democrat from California, shared her dismay at the vote.
@FCC just repealed #NetNeutrality rules in a party-line vote, handing a big win to multi-billion-dollar broadband companies,” she tweeted. “Now, broadband companies have the legal power, technical capability and business incentive to block content from competitors and slow video-streaming services from rivals.” In another tweet Harris added, “There’s only one thing stopping broadband providers from engaging in anti-competitive practices that are bad for consumers and bad for small businesses: you.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
“I will sue to stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of
#NetNeutrality. New Yorkers and all Americans deserve a free and open internet,” Schneiderman, New York State’s attorney general, tweeted.
Democratic FCC commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn
“Let’s remember the
@FCC voted to roll back #NetNeutrality on the basis of a record with: 2 million comments from stolen identities; and half a million comments from Russia. That’s not right. We need to investigate and get to the bottom of this mess,” Rosenworcel, a commissioner of the FCC, tweeted.
She added, “At a time when real facts get casually derided as fake news, algorithms are ascendant, and what is viral is not always verifiable, the
@FCC starts a rulemaking to further consolidate television news. Not smart. Not necessary. I dissent.”
“What is striking, and in keeping with the new norm, is that despite the millions of comments, letters and calls received, this order cites not even one,” Clyburn, another Democratic commissioner, said in a statement. “A soon-to-be-toothless FCC, is handing the keys to the internet — the internet, one of the most remarkable, empowering, enabling inventions of our lifetime — over to a handful of multibillion-dollar corporations.”
Sen. Ed Markey
“Donald Trump’s FCC made an historic mistake today by overturning its net neutrality rules, and we cannot let it stand,” Massachusetts Senator Markey said in a statement. “Without strong net neutrality rules, entrepreneurs, inventors, small businesses, activists and all those who rely on a free and open internet will be at the mercy of big broadband companies that can block websites, slow down traffic and charge websites fees in order to increase their profits.” Markey added that he plans to fight the vote “in the halls of Congress.”