WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) – The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.
The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday.
The FCC’s new rules could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet. The agency got rid of rules that barred companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from playing favorites with internet apps and sites.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has vowed to take legal action to keep the “net neutrality” rules in place.
“The vote by the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality could end the Internet as we know it. The FCC action undermines free speech and is bad for consumers and business—especially startups and small businesses.
With 17 of my colleague Attorneys General, I called on the FCC to delay today’s vote, to allow state and federal investigations to continue into the more than 1 million fake comments that were sent to the FCC about net neutrality. This huge number includes tens of thousands of fake comments issued under the names of real Pennsylvanians. The theft of someone’s voice in our democracy cannot stand, and we must first get to the bottom of this massive identity theft.
I plan to take legal action to protect Net Neutrality and believe the FCC’s decision will face serious legal challenges.
Visit badcomments.attorneygeneral.gov to look and see if your name was used fraudulently to influence the FCC’s process. We will investigate all reports made through this site and this information may be important to future legal action.”
The broadband industry promises that the internet experience isn’t going to change. But protests have erupted online and in the streets as everyday Americans worry that cable and phone companies will be able to control what they see and do online.
Net-neutrality supporters plan legal challenges. Some Democrats hope to ride that wave of public opinion into the 2018 elections.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)