FCC Repeals Net Neutrality Rules




On Dec. 14, 2017 the Obama era Net Neutrality vote was repealed. The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal it, with head Ajit Pai casting the tie final vote. Many American’s and even big companies like Netflix and Google have shown their displeasure with this decision.

According to The Merriam Webster Dictionary, Net Neutrality is “the idea, principle, or requirement that internet service providers should or must treat all InterNet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination.” The Obama era rules were passed on Feb. 26 2015 and was fully passed by the US Court of Appeals on June 14. 2016.

Ajit Pai was a previous member of the Obama administration as part of the communications department and was appointed to the FCC head by President Trump. Ajit Pai worked for Verizon as a lawyer before being appointed as the FCC head. He proposed a vote to take place on Dec. 14 which would repeal the current Net Neutrality rules.

President Obama was a big supporter of Net Neutrality, and even campaigned about his support for it while first running for President. The idea of Net Neutrality is allowing the internet to be a free place, and adding more protections for consumers. While most citizens support Net Neutrality, big corporations have always been anti-Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is not fully dead yet, the FCC’s ruling will be appealed in court automatically. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has already announced that he will sue the FCC for repealing Net Neutrality and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has announced that she will join forces with him. Massachusetts senator Ed Markey tweeted “See you in court @AjitPaiFCC.” Even though Net Neutrality was repealed by the FCC, no true end is in sight.  

Before the FCC voted to repeal, we decided to poll the Pentucket student body about what their opinions regarding Net Neutrality are. With 121 students responding to the poll 43 seniors, 25 juniors, 24 sophomores, and 29 freshman answered. According to the survey, 69.4% of the people who answered knew what Net Neutrality was. Based on class, 74.4% of seniors knew what Net Neutrality was before the survey, 52% of Juniors knew what Net Neutrality was, 70.83% of sophomores knew what Net Neutrality was and 75.86% of Freshman knew what Net Neutrality was. When asked if they supported Net Neutrality, did not support Net Neutrality, or did not care about Net Neutrality: 63.6% of students did support the idea of Net Neutrality, 15.7% did not support Net Neutrality, and 20.7% had no opinion about Net Neutrality.