Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on its decision regarding Net Neutrality. In a 3-2 vote, the FCC overturned the Net Neutrality rules set in place in 2015 during the Obama Administration. Those rules were established to protect consumers from internet service providers from controlling access.
Net Neutrality prohibited those companies from blocking access to specific websites or throttling internet, but has since been repealed by the FCC. Not only does it open the doorway for internet providers to have more control and power regarding a person’s service, but it also means that the United States government will no longer consider the internet a public utility like in the case of phone service.
Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, spoke on the Net Neutrality repeal stating that it will make service better for consumers in the future as providers will now be able to offer a wider variety of options for internet service. In a speech just before the vote occurred, he said:
“We are helping consumers and promoting competition. Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”
Though it is the most significant and controversial change that has happened under Pai’s 11 months as chairman of the FCC, it is far from the first. In the time since his start, he has also eased the limit on how much internet providers can charge customers and made cutbacks on a low-income broadband program.
Many groups are already planning to stand up against this repeal of Net Neutrality and take it to court through a lawsuit. Because of this, it is safe to say that the war on Net Neutrality is far from over just yet. For more on how this repeal can be disastrous for gaming, check our feature here.