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FCC Classifies Internet Service as a Public Utility

Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 6:27:42 pm

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I know the amazing llama chase was huge news today, but this might be even more important: F.C.C. Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Classifying Broadband Internet Service as a Utility.

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes.

Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the F.C.C. was using "all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers" and preserve the Internet's role as a "core of free expression and democratic principles."

The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept.

This ruling opens the way for communities to build their own Internet access services and frees them from the tyranny of the huge corporations who have no incentive to make things better. It's a huge win for the citizens of the US, who have lived too long with substandard Internet connection speeds compared to the rest of the world -- which means the Republican Party is going to freak out about it.