The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines Thursday to approve sweeping changes to how it regulates the Internet, capping more than a year of noisy debate that sparked millions of public comments and drew the attention of President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.
The agency’s three Democrats voted to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality order, which would treat broadband like a utility to ensure all Web traffic is treated equally.
The commission’s two GOP members, Republican lawmakers and the nation’s telecom giants oppose the rules, saying they will dampen innovation and investment. AT&T has already threatened a legal challenge.
“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” Wheeler said at Thursday’s FCC’s meeting.
“Today is a red-letter day for Internet freedom, for consumers who want to use the Internet on their terms, for innovators who want to reach consumers without the control of gatekeepers.”
In a separate decision Thursday, the FCC’s Democratic majority voted to override state laws that prevent community-run broadband networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina from expanding their geographic reach. The move will help such locally managed networks compete with incumbent cable and telecom companies.“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet."
So naturally the government thinks it ought to be in charge.
And puts itself in charge without the vote of Congress.
Taxation without Representation.
We don't have a government anymore.