The ongoing fight for net neutrality, which supporters of keeping the current rules in place will affect the speed and openness of the Internet, has taken a new turn on Thursday (Dec. 14). With the Federal Communications Commission elected by vote to repeal the Obama-era rules, critics of the decision are gearing up for a long political fight.
In simple terms, the FCC’s 3-2 vote went right along with party lines as many expected to happen. In essence, net neutrality protections were first established in 2015 which deemed it so that internet service providers (ISPs) cannot slow down the speed of the Internet due to content or charge customers more money for access to certain sites and services.
Further, it made it so that ISPs cannot charge end users or companies more fees to use fast speed zones of the Internet. Three Republicans voted in favor of ending protections with two Democrats standing in opposition.
The issue isn’t going away quietly as consumer advocates and others believe the repeal will increase costs and eliminate choices and gives ISPs an inroad to gouge more money from consumers by offering premium rates for a variety of online services. The matter has other hurdles to face as Congress could deem that the FCC, an independent government agency, doesn’t need to govern over net neutrality.
On Twitter, the hashtag #StopTheFCC is taking hold and rallying supporters to demand Congress enact its Congressional Review Act, which could reverse the repeal with a U.S. Senate majority vote.
While there’s still hope, supporters of the net neutrality rules are feeling the pangs of defeat but are using Twitter to galvanize like-minded individuals to take up arms on the legal front. We’ve collected some of the reaction below.