The Federal Communications Commission has voted to end the 2015 Open Internet Order which protects net neutrality in the United States.
The decision was taken during a much-anticipated meeting in Washington, DC, on Thursday.
Net neutrality requires all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally, without blocking, “throttling” or censoring services or websites.
The vote – three Republican commissioners in favour, two Democrat commissioners against – enacts the Restoring Internet Freedom initiative, which is widely seen as giving ISPs greater power to limit internet access while favouring certain data streams.
Mignon Clyburn, an FCC commissioner and a former member of Congress who was appointed to the FCC by Barack Obama in 2009, said the vote signified a “norm where the majority [of FCC commissioners]ignores the will of the people” during arguments against ending net neutrality.
Public outcry against the vote to end net neutrality has been growing since Ajit Pai, who was appointed FCC chairman by President Donald Trump in January, announced the plans in late November.
Source: Al Jazeera