Net Neutrality Restored as FCC Votes to Regulate Internet Providers 

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FCC on Thursday restored “net neutrality” rules that prevent broadband internet providers such as Comcast and AT&T from favoring some sites and apps over others.

The move effectively reinstates a net neutrality order the commission first issued in 2015 during the Obama administration; under then-President Donald Trump, the FCC subsequently repealed those rules in 2017.

Net neutrality is the principle that providers of internet service should treat all traffic equally. The rules, for instance, ban practices that throttle or block certain sites or apps, or that offer higher speeds to customers willing to pay extra.

“In our post-pandemic world, we know that broadband is a necessity, not a luxury,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement ahead of the vote.

The telecommunications industry opposed the reintroduction of the rules, as it has before, declaring it an example of unnecessary government interference in business decisions.

The measure passed on a 3-2 vote split by party lines, with Democratic commissioners in favor and Republicans opposed.

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