(Frontpage) -- The Federal Communications Commission has jettisoned the heavy-handed regulatory burden placed on a free and open Internet during the Obama administration. The FCC voted 3-2 on December 14th, along party lines, to repeal the so-called “net neutrality” rules adopted by the regulatory agency in 2015. The Obama-era rules had prohibited Internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast as well as smaller Internet service providers, from blocking, slowing access to or charging more (priority pricing) for fast delivery of content above some specified threshold of high bandwidth usage. High-speed delivery of Internet services will no longer be heavily regulated on par with a common carrier utility monopoly service. However, the Internet service providers will have to disclose to the FCC changes to their access policies, which can consider any alleged abuses on a case by case basis. The Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust enforcement responsibility with the Department of Justice, will be tasked to take action against any anti-competitive behavior.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who championed getting rid of the misleadingly named “net neutrality” rules, said that the net neutrality rules purported to fix something that was not broken when they were adopted in 2015. "Following today’s vote, Americans will still be able to access the websites they want to visit. They will still be able to enjoy the services they want to enjoy," FCC Chairman Pai said. "There will still be cops on the beat guarding a free and open internet. This is the way things were prior to 2015, and this is the way they will be once again." Chairman Pai noted that with the heavy regulatory hand of FCC micromanagement removed, “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”