The U.S. FCC voted Thursday to advance a proposal to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules and assume new regulatory oversight of broadband internet that was rescinded under former President Donald Trump. From a report: In a 3-2 party-line vote, the FCC approved Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which seeks public comment on the broadband regulation plan. The comment period will officially open after the proposal is published in the Federal Register, but the docket is already active and can be found here. The proposal would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, a designation that allows the FCC to regulate ISPs under the common-carrier provisions in Title II of the Communications Act. The plan is essentially the same as what the FCC did in 2015 when it used Title II to prohibit fixed and mobile Internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment.
The Obama-era net neutrality rules were eliminated during Trump's presidency when then-Chairman Ajit Pai led a repeal that reclassified broadband as an information service, returning it to the less strict regulatory regime of Title I. The current FCC likely would have acted much sooner but there was a 2-2 deadlock until last month when the Senate confirmed Biden nominee Anna Gomez to fill the empty spot. After the comment period, the FCC is likely to finalize the rulemaking and put the 2015 rules back in place. The broadband industry will likely then sue the FCC in an attempt to nullify the rulemaking.