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FCC Votes To Move Forward With Efforts To Roll Back Net Neutrality

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Members of the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to move forward with efforts to repeal the net neutrality rules implemented under President Barack Obama.

The 2 to 1 vote came down along with party lines, with Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Mike O'Rielly voting in favor of the measure and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn opposed.

The proposal would eliminate the requirement that internet service providers like Verizon (VZ) and Comcast (CMCSA) treat all web traffic equally.

The companies have been critical of the regulations, which they claim have inhibited investment in broadband infrastructure.

"Today we propose to repeal utility-style regulation of the Internet," said Pai. "The evidence strongly suggests this is the right way to go."

However, consumer advocates have argued that weaker rules would allow internet service providers to abuse their position as gatekeepers by blocking or slowing down certain websites.

"The endgame appears to be no-touch regulation and a wholesale destruction of the FCC's public interest authority in the 21st century," Clyburn said in her dissent.

Today's action by the FCC triggers a public commenting period before the proposal is put to a final vote later this year.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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