“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life,” according to President Obama and it appears his perspective on the heavy hand of government regulation inserting itself into the last bastion of freedom and dynamism in the US economy, is how best to achieve “openness.” Having pressured FCC’s Tom Wheeler, the vote just came down: U.S. FCC APPROVES NET NEUTRALITY INTERNET RULES IN 3-2 VOTE. While potentially good for a consumer’s pocketbook, the handing over of “fair-use” decision to the government, as we previously noted, could be the first step on a slippery slope to increased censorship.
*FCC ADOPTS NET-NEUTRALITY RULE BACKED BY OBAMA
*INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS MUST TREAT WEB TRAFFIC EQUALLY
*COMCAST, AT&T, VERIZON AMONG COMPANIES REGULATED UNDER RULES
*NETFLIX, TWITTER HAD SOUGHT FCC REGULATIONS
The measure approved Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission prohibits companies such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing online traffic and from offering faster service in return for payment. It also brings wireless Internet service fully under the rules for the first time.
The 3-2 vote on party lines by FCC commissioners enshrines a regulation backed by the Obama administration and opposed by cable and telephone companies, which say the rules risk stifling a fast-growing Internet and will lead to rate regulation.
“The Internet is too important to allow broadband providers to make the rules,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat appointed by Obama, in comments as the commission prepared to vote in its crowded meeting room in Washington.
The vote “imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have,” said Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner who campaigned in TV and radio appearances and on social media against the rules.
The FCC has “pried open the door to heavy-handed government regulation in a space celebrated for its free enterprise,” Michael Powell, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association trade group that has Comcast among its members, said in an e-mailed statement. “The commission has breathed new life into the decayed telephone regulatory model and applied it to the most dynamic, free-wheeling and innovative platform in history.”
Wheeler disagreed with characterizations that government is imposing utility-style regulation.
Written by Tyler Durden- Zero Hedge
Read more at Zero Hedge