- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 2-1 Thursday to advance Chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom proposal, which would repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections, according to The Hill.
- Approval opens up a period of public input before the FCC moves forward with the proposal.
- The FCC's only Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, voted against the proposal. The vote sparked outcry from groups that oppose the change and prompted activists to gather outside FCC headquarters in Washington.
The process of eliminating net neutrality is officially underway.
Pai says the industry should be allowed to police itself, and that regulation keeps ISPs from expanding and upgrading, which in turn curbs job growth and hurts customers.
But individuals, businesses and advocacy groups disagree, and say they plan to pose strong opposition. Without net neutrality, they argue, internet providers could slow access to web content and make it more difficult to transfer large amounts of data. The public and business customers could see an increase in the cost of services. The majority of public filings submitted to the FCC's website support keeping net neutrality rules, according to Fortune.
The arguments are likely to get bitter, and the public comment period could drag on well into Fall.