The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a plan to rescind net neutrality protections. The repeal to Obama-era would pass based on a party-line voting.
FCC approved the rules that were designed to keep internet open and fair in 2015. Under these rules, internet service providers including Verizon and Comcast were prohibited from accelerating or slowing down traffic from particular apps and websites.
Under the new proposal, FCC would eliminate the rules that restrict internet service providers from accelerating or slowing down. Moreover, it would remove the rule of prohibiting internet providers from prioritizing their content.
Ajit Pai had been appointed by President Donald Trump as a chairman of FCC. He had been a critic of net neutrality. In November, he made a repeal proposal to restrict the federal government from micromanaging the internet.
The proposal by Pai has been largely appreciated by telecom companies. They argue that the earlier proposal put limitations on innovation. On the other hand, it has been criticized by tech companies and consumer advocacy groups.
Net neutrality advocates argue that the new regulations would provide so much control to internet service providers over how content is delivered.
Twitter, Kickstarter, Reddit, and other websites expressed messages on their sites to support net neutrality. Protestors raised their voices in front of Verizon offices. In addition, few creators of the internet have written a letter to FCC to cancel the vote.
The vote has a potential to change how internet is regulated and repeal net neutrality laws.