On Thursday, December 14, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality laws passed in 2015 under the Obama administration. With the three Republicans on the commission outvoting the two Democrats, this change effectively allows internet service providers to prioritize download speeds for websites that they prefer, often because those sites pay service providers a fee. While those who voted in favor of the change claim it will invigorate the online economy by minimizing restrictions, critics believe the exact opposite. Net neutrality supporters argue that wealthy businesses will have an unfair advantage over start-ups since they can afford to pay for faster download speeds. And many predict consumers will find themselves paying more money for worse internet service.
For weeks leading up to this vote, the internet has been passionately defending net neutrality, trying to convince FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his colleagues to maintain the Obama-era regulations.
The FCC just voted 3-2 to repeal the agency's 2015 net neutrality rules, as expected. Three Republicans in favor, two Democrats vociferously dissenting.— John Hendel (@JohnHendel) December 14, 2017
For those wondering what happens next, FCC rep says it may take up to "several months" for the net neutrality repeal to be formally approved by the Office of Management and Budget. Until then, the rules remain in place.— Seth Fiegerman (@sfiegerman) December 14, 2017
The @FCC voted to roll back #NetNeutality today. History will not be kind to this vote to destroy Internet openness. But this is not over. I'm not stopping here or now--and neither should you. Let's keep up the fight. Let's keep raising a ruckus. The future depends on it.— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) December 14, 2017
Let's remember the @FCC voted to roll back #NetNeutrality on the basis of a record with:— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) December 14, 2017
Two 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. https://t.co/fCyWt1YBG0
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
Don’t let @AjitPaiFCC fool you. The ONLY people benefitting from the repeal of #NetNeutrality are massive corporations that are already reaping in enormous profits. They want to end the internet as we know it to create a digital oligarchy that serves the wealthy few.— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 14, 2017
Today’s vote to repeal #NetNeutrality rules is a major blow to the internet as we know it. @AjitPaiFCC’s legacy will be leading the surrender of the free & open internet to corporations, letting ISPs create internet toll lanes, & stifling online competition, innovation & dynamism— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) December 14, 2017
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. When our democratic institutions are already in peril, we must do everything we can to stop this decision from taking effect. https://t.co/8GGrJFMdrU— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 14, 2017
Pai might have just accidentally saved the world. If ISPs fuck up the internet before November 2018, the youth turnout is going to set a midterm record.— 🦌 Kiannis 🦌 (@kevinmccauley) December 14, 2017