The FCC, the independent government organization formed to regulate communications, officially voted to eliminate net neutrality on Thursday (Dec. 14), despite overwhelming opposition, reports TechCrunch.
The FCC was met with widespread opposition from advocacy groups, technologists, and many internet users since their plan came to light — to eliminate 2015’s Open Internet Order and the net neutrality protections it established.
The order, dubbed “Restoring Internet Freedom”, essentially removes the FCC as a regulator of the broadband industry, preventing the companies from both blocking and throttling of content.
By stripping net neutrality, ISPs (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) can now speed up, slow down, or even block service for certain apps and websites as they see fit… essentially giving them the power to limit the internet for users, potentially for their own benefit.
Netflix was among the first to issue a statement condemning the FCC’s decision. “We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement,” Netflix tweeted. “This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.”