The Federal Communications Commission, on December 14, has voted to repeal the Net Neutrality rules along party lines. The Net Neutrality rules were put forth in 2015 under the Obama Administration in order to make all internet providers treat network data the same. Chairman Pai and Commissioners Michael O’Reilly and Brendan Carr all voted to have the rulings repelled. Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel dissented the decision at the Thursday FCC monthly meeting.
Commissioner Clyburn discussed her opposition against repealing the net neutrality rules. She discussed her concerns that this ruling opposes the will of the people who advocate for net neutrality. She warned that the changes this decision will make will not be sudden, but gradual, and therefore will not be understood until it is too late. Commissioner O’Reilly, who voted for the repeal, emphasized the functionality of the internet before there were net neutrality rules, and that it worked just fine before 2015. He discussed that this repeal will not stop freedom or commerce but will stop the confinement of the internet to state boundaries therefore avoiding the prioritization in one state over another. Commissioner Carr, also an advocate to repeal Net Neutrality, said net neutrality is not an appropriate way to regulate the internet. He also stressed that net neutrality was not used before 2015, therefore this repeal will not cause chaos within internet regulations. Rosenworcel, another commissioner who opposed the repeal, also reflected the concerns indicated by Commissioner Clyburn. She discussed the fear of discrimination toward users and websites further indicating that the openness of net neutrality benefited all through it’s revolutionary approach to help communities thrive.
Chairman Pai stated that his move will be important to enrich the lives of Americans. He said that the 2015 regulations were too overreaching and that this repeal will create more opportunity. Furthermore, he explained that there will be more transparency between broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and more competition between broadband providers. Therefore, Chairman Pai ruled that net neutrality has been approved for repeal.