Despite a letter from 37 Democratic legislators and two Independents, two Republicans speaking out and an open letter from 21 tech pioneers, the FCC shows no signs of delaying or cancelling the net neutrality vote for later today, Thursday, December 14.
The current net neutrality rules were put in place in 2015, under the Obama administration. The net neutrality vote that appears to be moving forward later today would repeal those rules. The repeal expected to pass with Republican support.
Net neutrality pros and cons
The FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is moving forward with what he hopes will be a repeal of the current net neutrality rules because he claims the policies in place are a regulatory burden. He wants it to return to “light-touch” regulation, saying the Internet wasn’t broken before 2015 and didn’t need new rules and regulations. He also claims that net neutrality doesn’t work, stifling competition in ISPs and preventing consumer access to the Internet. Those who disagree with him say the problem of an Internet without net neutrality would be ISPs controlling access to certain content.
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Those in favor of keeping the current rules in place say that net neutrality protects consumers and allows them access to all content, equally, across the Internet. Under the current protections, they say, Internet service providers cannot affect that access through methods like blocking, slowing, or giving preferred treatment to particular sites and companies on the Internet. Some claim a repeal could manifest itself in dark practices like blocking some websites, censoring content and sky-high bills for those who want to access sites and services they currently enjoy.
Watch the net neutrality vote live stream
Each of the FCC members will give speeches defending their vote as they cast them. Tune in to hear more in-depth arguments and find out what will happen to the 2015 net neutrality policies.
The vote started at 10:30 a.m. EST, and you can watch the net neutrality vote in process here on the FCC website.