A proposal to protect net neutrality was approved on Thursday by the FCC in a 3-to-2 vote that could establish strict rules for the open Internet. The decision will reclassify Internet service providers under the same Title II restrictions covering phone lines, while also prohibiting paid fast lanes, throttling and more.
“We cannot have a two-tiered internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind,” said FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel at a meeting today ahead of the vote.
This FCC vote still doesn’t mark the end of an ongoing battle over the future of the Internet. Net neutrality advocates expect at least some ISPs to sue over these new rules. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress have also spoken out against Title II classification, promising a long debate and proposing new legislation to overturn the decision.
In theory, the FCC’s new rules will become law within a few months, though clearly that’s still up for debate. In the meantime though, today’s vote marks a huge victory for net neutrality’s supporters.