Three Things to Know: Net Neutrality

Three Things to Know: Net Neutrality

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United States

Digital Policy

In a historic vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to prohibit internet service providers from privileging certain types of web content and services over others. Supporters hope the decision will preserve an open and impartial Internet, while critics say it will harm innovation and hike costs. CFR Senior Fellow for Digital Policy Karen Kornbluh offers three things to know about the FCC's new rules:

Staying Neutral: The recent vote maintains the open nature of the Internet, a quality that Kornbluh says has made the web an excellent platform for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers must be a neutral gateway for everything online,” she explains.

Three Bright Lines: The FCC's decision will prevent internet service providers from blocking legal content on the Internet, throttling the speed of services or content, and creating paid tiers of prioritization that allow some websites to be accessed faster than others.

Uncertain Future: The debate over net neutrality is far from over, says Kornbluh. Major telecom companies are expected to challenge the FCC's ruling in court, while some Republicans in Congress are preparing legislation that would supersede FCC regulations.