After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.
After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.
The rules, put in place in 2015, banned cable and telecom companies from blocking or slowing down any websites or apps. They also prohibited broadband providers from striking special deals that would give some websites or apps “priority” over others.
The FCC’s dramatic course reversal in favor of Internet service providers has propelled the once-wonky issue of net neutrality into the mainstream, turning it into an increasingly political matter. Advocacy groups are expected to press Congress to stop the FCC’s vote from taking effect under the Congressional Review Act.
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