Net neutrality rules repealed in the USA
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which was strongly in favour of net neutrality. The 2015 order reclassified broadband Internet access service providers as so-called utility carriers, making them subject to the FCC’s authority and oversight to ensure that they do not interfere with the speed or selection of content through the Internet access they provide to their users. The Restoring Internet Freedom Order passed by the FCC reclassifies broadband providers as ‘information service’ providers, thus limiting the FCC’s authority over them, and allowing them to develop models that could run counter to net neutrality principles. Under the new rules, to enter into force in about three months, ISPs will only be required to be transparent and disclose information about their practices to consumers, entrepreneurs, and the commission. The reactions are mixed: telecom companies welcome the new order, major Internet companies express concern, and there are calls for the Congress to pass a bill to restore net net neutrality rules, as well as expectations that the new FCC order will be challenged in court.