The FCC’s plan to roll back 2015 net neutrality rules will allow internet providers to block or throttle content or offer paid fast lanes as long as they tell their customers and allow regulator oversight, senior FCC officials told reporters today.
The FCC’s argument is that net neutrality rules produced more costs than benefits. Officials say that broadband providers are spending less on their networks because of the rules, something that is disputed by supporters of the rules. FCC officials also say lifting the blanket ban on “fast lanes” will be good for consumers but also for web services that would have to pay for preferential access.
The decision to lift the rules will open the door to internet providers charging customers more when they want to access a certain website (or set of websites) or giving them discounts to access content the provider produced.
The tech industry slammed the proposal. “This proposal undoes nearly two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans’ ability to access the entire internet,” said Michael Beckerman, the head of the Internet Association.