Today, the FCC votes on the fate of net neutrality

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Caleb Chen
net neutrality vote may 18

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to kill net neutrality under the guise of “Restoring Internet Freedom.” The FCC’s net neutrality rules that currently regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) as Title II common carriers forbids them from participating in many types of customer harming practices such as throttling or prioritizing certain types of internet traffic over others. Simply put, net neutrality protects consumers from predatory practices by large corporations, an acceptable use of government regulation that has proven useful in regulating other public utilities, such as water and electricity.

The FCC’s meeting starts at 10:30 Eastern time and can be viewed at this FCC livestream link.

Editor’s note: The “Destroying Internet Freedom” motion passed with a 2-1 vote. O’Rielly and Pai voted Aye while Clyburn voted Nay.

Support for net neutrality is at an all time high

One FCC commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, has even come out in favor of net neutrality. She stated:

“Net neutrality is doomed if we are silent.”

Senate Democrats have also voiced their support of net neutrality in an open letter released on TechCrunch. The letter started simply:

“The free and open internet as we know it is at risk.”

Additionally, several groups of startups, tech companies, and non profits such as Fight For The Future and even a late show have also made the stand, helping guide real users to the FCC’s comment page so that they can leave comments. So many comments that the FCC even claimed to be DDOS’d.

Even with the anti-net neutrality bot spam, the majority of comments to the FCC are for net neutrality

The upcoming FCC vote has garnered a lot of attention. The official comment period has seen hundreds of thousands of submissions, with evidence that a good portion of them were submitted by bots. According to data analysis by Jeffrey Fossett, even once you account for the most commonly submitted anti net neutrality comments, the majority of comments to the FCC are still for net neutrality. Just like in previous iterations where the netizens of the world assembled to make their voice heard – we are doing so again.

Even a cable company poll found that the majority support net neutrality

net neutrality supportAnother poll, conducted by anti-net neutrality lobbying group, the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, tried its hardest with leading questions to show that Americans didn’t want Title II classification for ISPs and wanted a “light touch” of internet regulation. However, even that data showed that the majority of people supported net neutrality – a claim that some ISPs and even Ajit Pai himself have also made.

Ajit Pai has indicated that it is possible that the comments may sway the FCC’s mind on doing away with net neutrality. Even if the FCC votes to keep net neutrality today, there is still the Senate proposal, the “Restoring Internet Freedom Act,” which would also repeal net neutrality rules, to fight against. If the FCC votes to begin the process of repealing net neutrality rules today, the process would open up another 3 month comment period before a final vote at the FCC meeting on August 16th.

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  1. Jeff Barea

    net-neutrality as written is a joke. Reclassification and increase in regulatory power will never achieve decentralization. Get serious or get out of the way.

    7 years ago
    1. LordKabal26

      And leaving the ISPs to their own devices thinking that they’ll somehow self regulate themselves is blind stupidity at best. The ISPs have shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted to act in the interests of the customers they are greedy scum-suckers that want nothing more than free reign to do whatever the fark they want even if it harms the people who pay them for their service.

      7 years ago
      1. Benjamin Smith

        the only way to keep them on their toes is to strip away their exclusivity deals that make competition impossible.

        7 years ago
    2. Lucas Heineman

      You sir, do not know what you’re talking about. Nice big words tho.

      7 years ago
      1. Menasheh

        I’m not sure anybody knows what they’re talking about. What does net neutrality mean exactly?

        7 years ago
        1. Sven

          “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.”
          – Google Search

          This is enforceable by the government as long as ISPs are classified under Title II regulation, and removing that classification is what would “kill” net neutrality.

          7 years ago
  2. chris

    just a reminder the FCC vote today is to begin the process of rolling back Net Neutrality so there will be a 3 month comment period and the final vote will likely be around the 18th of August at least that what I have read, correct me if am wrong

    7 years ago
    1. Caleb Chen

      You are absolutely correct, Chris!

      7 years ago
    2. Gee Shepherd

      Doesn’t matter. He just said the comment period is basically ‘Dancing with the Stars’ voting and shouldn’t be taken seriously. He just brushed of Democracy in America like it was nothing.

      7 years ago