Thursday, February 26, 2015

HALLELUJAH, THE INTERNET IS FREE!

In other words, the FCC has, thanks in large part to a huge public pressure campaign from us plebeian Internet users, voted to protect net neutrality. For those who haven't been following — and if you haven't, John Oliver (as always) has a great segment explaining it — net neutrality means that the Internet will remain a level playing field, and large corporations won't be able to pay service providers to make their sites load faster than others.

For an example of this, Netflix posted this great tweet yesterday:


More on the vote from NPR:

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."
The policy helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.
"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said later.
The dissenting votes came from Michael O'Rielly and Ajut Pai, Republicans who warned that the FCC was overstepping its authority and interfering in commerce to solve a problem that doesn't exist. They also complained that the measure's 300-plus pages weren't publicly released or openly debated.
The new policy would replace a prior version adopted in 2010 — but that was put on hold following a legal challenge by Verizon. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last year that the FCC did not have sufficient regulatory power over broadband.
After that ruling, the FCC looked at ways to reclassify broadband to gain broader regulatory powers. It will now treat Internet service providers as carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which regulates services as public utilities.

And the John Oliver segment, because you can never really get enough of him:

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