FCC ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ Order Takes Effect

June 12, 2018 Updated: June 12, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the Trump administration, put its Restoring Internet Freedom Order into effect on June 11, which clears red tape and is expected to give more protections to internet users.

Legacy news outlets have criticized the move by the FCC, which got rid of Obama-era net neutrality laws, claiming it would allow internet service providers to limit web access or charge more for services.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a video that none of the claims are true. He said the changes merely roll the internet back to standards that were in place during the first six years of the Obama administration. He said, “Today, if Comcast blocks your favorite website, or selectively throttles content, or favors one application over another, that is as unlawful today as it was yesterday.”

Carr said the changes roll back internet regulations from Title 2 to Title 1, which “means the Federal Trade Commission, our country’s premier consumer protection agency, is back as the cop on the beat enforcing these protections.”

“Your online experience is not subject to the good graces or discretion of your ISP [internet service provider],” he said, adding that the FCC will “stand with the Federal Trade Commission and ensure that your broadband providers remain accountable.”

According to the FCC website, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order aims to provide “a framework for protecting an open internet while paving the way for better, faster and cheaper internet access for consumers.”

It also “replaces unnecessary, heavy-handed regulations that were developed way back in 1934 with strong consumer protections, increased transparency, and common-sense rules that will promote investment and broadband deployment.”

The order is focused on three elements, to “police and take action against internet service providers for anticompetitive acts or unfair and deceptive practices,” to ensure transparency of ISPs about their business practices, and to remove regulations and promote broadband investment to help create faster and more affordable internet options.

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