The FCC voted along party lines to roll back “net neutrality,” the set of Internet regulations imposed under Obama that requires service providers to treat all traffic equally without slowing or blocking content, and not providing faster lanes for sites that are willing to pay more. The decision sparked heated debates online, protests outside the FCC, a threat of a multistate lawsuit, and some ugly racist attacks on Indian-American FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Defenders of the rules claim they’re needed to keep the Internet free; opponents say they weren’t needed in the first place, that the Internet grew and prospered without regulation and the less power the government has over it the freer it is, and that it’s reasonable that some companies should have to pay more since some are huge bandwidth hogs that others pay to pick up the cost for. Both sides argue that their view is best for small businesses and start-ups.
It’s actually a complicated issue that’s not easy for anyone outside the tech industry to understand. And judging from some of the hysterical signs waved by protesters outside the FCC, a lot of them did stand out in the cold to protest something they don’t have the slightest grasp of. At this link, more info, a video and a link to the measure on the FCC website, if you’d like to learn more. That is, provided your ISP is working.