The Federal Communications Commission has put its foot down in favor of an open Internet and local government control over broadband expansion.
In a 3-2 vote on Thursday, Feb. 26, the commission issued a final ruling adopting strong net neutrality rules, reclassifying Internet connectivity as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act. By relying on Title II, the FCC believes it can use “light-touch” regulation of the Internet to heighten competition among providers and ensure U.S. citizens have unfiltered access to the Web without paid prioritization or speed throttling.
In a second ruling, the FCC also voted in favor of an order pre-empting state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that have restricted expansion of municipal broadband networks. Under the order, the commission assumes authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1996 to regulate in the public interest.