FCC's Net Neutrality Decision Revealed

The FCC voted Thursday to repeal the Obama-era classification that declared the internet as a public utility which barred providers from charging premiums for select content or websites.

A 3-2 vote by FCC Commissioners along party lines decided the repeal.

The vote to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules comes after President Trump's appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued in May that the rules hamper broadband investment. Instead, he introduced a repeal proposal as a way stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet."

Under the rules of net neutrality, ISPs may not charge customers premium prices to use movie-streaming sites or pages that promote a specific agenda.

Supporters of an open internet claim it keeps the web accessible to all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Without these rules, they believe ISPs could censor content or charge additional fees for usage at their own discretion.

Among those supporters are some of the country's largest web companies, including Google, Netflix and Twitter, who believe internet users should be given free reign to the web without fear of fees.

Opponents of net neutrality argue that the rules are unnecessary, squashing potential job creation and free market competition from large and small companies alike.

Among those who oppose the FCC’s current regulations are big name service providers, including AT&T and Verizon. Both claim that while they support an open web space, the public utility classification does not ultimately support a free internet.

Regardless of the FCC's decision, many service providers have worked to assure customers that their internet coverage would largely remain the same.

In a blog post this week, Comcast said its customers "will continue to enjoy all the benefits of an open Internet today, tomorrow, and in the future. Period."