The rules reclassify Internet as Title II of the Telecommunications Act, making it a utility

The FCC voted in favor of the Open Internet Order, new net neutrality rules that would prohibit paid Internet paid fast lanes, and reclassify broadband providers as telecommunication services under the Title II of the Telecommunications Act, among other regulations. The rules were passed by a 3-2 vote along party lines, with Commissioners Ajut Pai and Michael O’Rielly (Republicans) voting against the measure and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel and Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (Democrats) voting in favor of the order.

The Internet is saved…for now.

Net neutrality wins!

Today, the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of rules that reclassify broadband Internet service as a utility, effectively stopping service providers from blocking sites or apps, charging users extra to surf the Web at full speed or operating paid “fast lanes” for specific services or websites like Netflix or YouTube. And though we’re not completely out of the woods yet, this is huge news.

In an historic 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission said it would change the way the nation’s Internet service providers are regulated. For net neutrality advocates the vote is a major victory; for the nation’s Internet service providers, a rebuke.

MOREThe FCC’s Vote to Protect Net Neutrality Is a Huge Win for the Internet

You did it, Internet lovers. Net neutrality is happening.

what is net neutrality?
  • what some of y'all think net neutrality means:GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER GG NO MORE INTERNET GOODBYE LIBERTY
  • what net neutrality actually is:the government telling ISPs to fuck off a lil' bit so that they don't keep overcharging everyone and throttling internet service as they already have been proven to do
Verizon's response to the FCC's decision to regulate the internet using a law from 1934 is perfect

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission decided on a 3-2 party-line vote to begin regulating the internet using a law from the 1930s.  The law is the Communications Act of 1934, specifically Title II, and it gives the FCC broad power to tax, censor, and disrupt the free enterprise of the internet.  

Verizon responded to the news in appropriate fashion, using morse code, the form of communication that the original 1934 law would have been regulating. 

Here’s the translation:

Today (Feb. 26) the Federal Communications Commissionapproved an order urged by President Obama that imposes rules on broadband Internet services that were written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph. The following statement should be attributed to Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president, public policy and government affairs: 

“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors. Over the past two decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age consumers now enjoy. 

“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet hasoperated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis, full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history will judge today’s actions as misguided. “

The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary. The FCC had targeted tools available to preserve an open Internet, but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300- plus pages of broad and open- ended regulatory arcana that will have unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the Internet ecosystem for years to come. 

“What has been and will remain constant before, during and after the existence of any regulations is Verizon’s commitment to an open Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and Internet access when, where, and how they want.”

Say hello to the new Internet tax

The Telecommunications Act is a massive piece of legislation, however, with a great number of obscure provisions and unforeseen consequences. One such provision, the one to which O’Rielly is referring in his comments, requires telecommunications companies to pay into a “Universal Service Fund” for the purpose of supporting access and infrastructure for remote rural areas.

Section 254(d) states “Every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate telecommunications services shall contribute, on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis, to the specific, predictable, and sufficient mechanisms established by the Commission to preserve and advance universal service.”

These contributions are far from trivial. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the FCC announced that the charge to telecommunications companies would be 16.1 percent of end user revenues. When companies face a cost increase like this, they do not simply absorb it. Instead, they pass it on to consumers in the form of higher prices to the extent they can get away with it without losing business. Additionally, the incentive for companies to keep prices low in order to remain competitive does not exist in this case, since every ISP will be hit with the same cost increase simultaneously.

Time Warner Cable has reported its average monthly charge for internet is about $47. The FCC’s rate increase would bring this to $54.57, an increase of more than $90 a year, and this does not include any further increases we might see as a result of higher compliance costs with the new regulations. Imposing additional costs on consumers through government fiat so that the FCC can increase its own revenues is unquestionably a step backwards for internet freedom.

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