Back in 2017, the FCC voted to end the net neutrality rules that govern internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Spectrum, with the change taking effect two years later after a protracted legal battle. But the current Democratically-led commissioners of the agency are reportedly planning to announce that they will revive the rules, according to a report from Bloomberg.
(Update: FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel officially confirmed the agency’s plans to bring back net neutrality. You can read about the details and reaction here.)
The old net neutrality rules were first introduced in 2015 under President Obama. These rules prevented internet providers from treating video traffic differently, prioritizing video over email based on what a company would pay. The old rules only applied to traditional landline internet companies, not wireless services like 5G internet.
The net neutrality rules call for the FCC to classify internet service providers as Title II companies, which are more heavily regulated than Title I designation, which takes a more “light touch” approach to rules. The Title II designation applies a “common carrier” description to internet services, similar to power and gas lines.
The FCC has been locked in an even split between Democrats and Republicans throughout most of President Joe Biden’s term. Now that the split has been broken, Democrats on the FCC want to bring back Net Neutrality.
Announcing new rules today or even just plans for new rules likely means there is a long road ahead before they become a reality. It is very likely with court challenges, that we may be years away from any new FCC net neutrality rules becoming law. We will have full coverage of today’s reported announcement and going forward as these new rules work their way into becoming law.