The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday, Dec. 14 to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.
The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal marks a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.
Democrats, Hollywood and companies like Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc had urged Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.
Consumer advocates and trade groups representing content providers have planned a legal challenge aimed at preserving those rules.
Protesters gathered online and in front of FCC headquarters to oppose the change. (Reuters)