The Federal Communications Commission gave notice on Thursday that net neutrality protection rules, set in-place during the Obama administration, will end. The new changes will now give internet service providers full control over consumer access.
“Today, the FCC gave notice that net neutrality protections will be taken off the books on June 11. This is profoundly disappointing.” said Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
“The agency failed to listen to the American public and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. The agency turned a blind eye to serious problems in its process—from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in its files.”
Net neutrality restricted providers from purposely slowing down or blocking access to the internet for consumer, unless they disclosed it to consumers. Now, with the removal of the protection approaching, providers are not required anymore to follow guidelines previously set.
The new ruling heavily benefits major ISPs such as Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
The repeal will most likely result in higher prices while offering less options for consumers, but even during the net neutrality era, it was seen that few ISPs were blocking access to certain sites from their consumers.
Republicans argued that revoking net neutrality would create a stronger economy, but Democrats argued that it would do the opposite and hurt many businesses that revolve around internet accessibility.
Companies such as, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ :AMZN), eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) argued against the removal of net neutrality.
All of these corporations’ business heavily revolve around the internet, especially Google and Facebook who generate revenue predominately off advertisements. Now, ISPs have the power to block certain advertisements or pages on those sites from consumers.
In February, 22 state attorney general filed lawsuits against the FCC to block the removal of net neutrality.
Now, the U.S. Senate must vote by as early as next week to reject the FCC’s decision.
“The Senate must act NOW and pass my resolution to save the internet as we know it.” tweeted Democratic Senator of Massachusetts Edward Markey.
“The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people. It deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined, and ultimately reversed. I raised my voice to fight for internet freedom. I’ll keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will too.” concluded Rosenworcel.