Net neutrality has changed from a technical concept into a politically charged issue. The 2015 net neutrality rules had barred internet providers from blocking or charging internet companies to favor some sites over others.
After the 2016 election, President Donald Trump appointed a more industry-friendly FCC chairman, Mr. Pai. Mr. Pai had argued that net neutrality created a disincentive for internet services to invest in their networks, and removing the rule would open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access. Without these rules, phone and cable companies can interfere with internet traffic as long as they disclose it.
On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC had the right to dump net-neutrality rules. The ruling further stated that the FCC cannot make changes to any laws passed by local and state governments.
The ruling is largely a victory for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump administration appointee, who championed a repeal of the Obama-era rules. Net neutrality was replaced with a new rule called “Restoring Internet Freedom.”
Despite millions of consumers making their voices heard regarding their support for Net Neutrality protections, the protections were still removed in December of 2017. Now, it is up to the American people to continue fighting this administration for the everyday protections we deserve. Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the two Democrats on the five-member F.C.C., wrote on Twitter, “Let’s keep up the fight.”