The Federal Communications Commission’s vote on Thursday to repeal its net neutrality rulesmarked the end of a brief experiment by the network regulator to rein in the tremendous power of Internet providers by treating them like the highly-regulated telecoms. Now, providers will be allowed to speed up some websites — and block or slow down others — so long as they disclose it to the public, and violations will largely be handled after the fact by the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC.
Far from settling the matter, the Republican-led FCC has simply opened a new chapter in a bruising Washington battle that stretches back nearly as far as the dot-com boom itself. Those on both sides who have watched the policy seesaw wildly back and forth have but one emotion to report: Exhaustion.
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