The FCC Votes for Net Neutrality in Bid to Protect the Internet

the internet 02-26-15-1

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted for net neutrality today, putting forth pretty to protect the internet as we know it in a bid to make it remain “fast, fair and open.”

The 3-to-2 vote opened up the path for the FCC to create the Open Internet Order, which effectively replaces their Open Internet regulations from 2010, which got thrown to the wayside last January. This created a dangerous precedence where the court determined that net neutrality is an important topic, although they deemed the FCC did not have the legal means or power to regulate the internet.

“Great online video game experiences depend upon low latency, high bandwidth connections,” the ESA said in a statement. “We hope that the rule announced today by the FCC will promote continued development of fast online connections while protecting gamers from anti-competitive and discriminatory practices.”

President Barack Obama himself has been an advocate of net neutrality, issuing a statement last November, saying the FCC needed to implement these kinds of regulations. He provided a statement today in celebration of the millions of Americans who let their voices be heard:

“Today’s FCC decision will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs — and it wouldn’t have happened without Americans like you.”

The Open Internet Order puts into effect three rules to protect net neutrality:

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.” This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.

“For over a decade, the Commission has endeavored to protect and promote the open Internet,” said Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, said in a statement. “Today is the culmination of that effort, as we adopt the strongest possible open Internet protections.”

This new order gives the FCC the ability to investigate the complains between internet service providers and other services, like the debacle between Netflix and companies like Verizon and Comcast. The FCC is also now applying the new rules to mobile broadband for the very first time.

Finally, the new order also specifies that internet service providers can not “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” the ability of internet-goers and regular internet subscribers from being able to use the internet to access content and services of their choosing – providing the content is legal to consume, of course. The only exemption provided here is “reasonable network management,” but this is definitely not a business-related situation.

Sources: Federal Communications Commission and The Verge

Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

  1. TiamatNM
    February 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    They voted to give themselves more power. How surprising.

  2. Domhnall
    February 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d prefer the FCC have more power rather than the giant telecom companies.

  3. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    February 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    It really is a lesser of two evils thing, yeah.

  4. Psichaos
    February 26, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    In this situation, Its kinda like choosing which dildo you’d like to get pegged by. I don’t trust the government by any stretch of the means, but the big telecom companies are just as bad if not worse. At the very least, at least the FCC is giving us a bit of reach around.

  5. Thanatos2k
    February 26, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I’ll take the small one that vibrates rather than the huge one with spikes and electric shocks.

  6. Aeder
    February 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    This is actually good, assuming the FCC does its job properly. Unregulated internet has been a fucking disaster in the US. They have third world level of internet service outside the big cities (or sometimes no service at all), a lot of areas have no competition at all meaning that speeds have remained low and prices high.

    The ISPs opposed the redefinition of broadband from 4mb down/ 1mb up to 10mb down/1mb up.

    They sued the FCC when it tried to pass “Net Neutrality”-like regulation and won, which lead to the judges telling the FCC that if it wanted to pass regulation similar to Title II (you know, the regulation that killed the phone monopoly abuse in America), they should just reclassify ISP as carriers, which is what they are going to do now. The ISP shot their own foot by winning that lawsuit.

    They sue new competitors that try to enter the market, or fuck services over (like Netflix) with abusive interconnection agreements.

    There’s plenty of articles on this on Ars Technica, and you can see that in each and every one of them, the ISPs are just trying to defend their ability to abuse customers. They deserve no sympathy.

    Meanwhile in Europe a lot of countries with heavy regulation enjoy really fast internet on most or all of their territory.

  7. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    February 26, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    For someone whose internet speed is a paltry 1.5mb for $36 a month with a “Fair Use” policy (Philippines), I only know too well that telecoms need their hands slapped.

    That being said, I do not trust the government will handle this correctly.

  8. Nebbyn
    February 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I’d like to know what qualifies as “unlawful” internet traffic. I mean I know, but I want to know what the FCC considers it to be. This better be clearly defined and not able to be added to without a vote or something. I’m tentatively hopeful that this’ll work out in the consumer’s favor. Just have to wait and see what those 300+ pages say once they go public.

  9. daggot △
    daggot △
    February 26, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I’m happy with it. In the end its choosing the lesser of two evils and i’d choose the FCC over Verizon/time warner/comcast any day

  10. sanic
    February 27, 2015 at 12:28 am

    In Canada there was a worker strike for the internet provider Bell, Bell blocked access to the union website for all its customers, this was resulted in a fine and the requirement that the site be unblocked but without net neutrality it would have no consequence.

    It might have been telus I always confuse the two because they’re both horrible, they make comcast look good to put it lightly.

  11. EvaUnitO2
    February 27, 2015 at 7:37 am

    No, it’s really not.