FCC finally approves an open internet

The increasing debate of net neutrality ended after almost 16 years when the Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday new rules prohibiting Internet service providers like AT&T Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Verizon Communications Inc., to charge consumers for faster internet speed.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler stated that “the internet was too important to allow broadband providers to make the rules.” He continued to say, “So today after a decade of debate in an open, robust year-long process, we finally have legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet stays fast, fair and open.”

For those of you who do not know what “net neutrality” means, it is a principle that makes Internet networks equally available to legal contents. Hence, it prohibits large cable and broadband companies from discriminating, blocking, or slowing down the loading of content from their consumers just so that they can pay them more money in exchange for a faster speed.

According to the FCC, the new regulations will be published online ASAP and will be effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register (the daily journal of your U.S. government).

*Fun fact: the term “net neutrality” was coined in a law article review by Tim Wu, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School. 

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