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FCC votes to regulate Internet service - February 26, 2015

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The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on February 26 to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a major step in regulating high-speed net service into US households. The new rules were backed 3 to 2 along party lines, and aim to ensure that content does not get blocked and the Internet is not divided into fast connections for some and slow lanes for the rest. Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, said the FCC was using all “tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers”. He said it was important to preserve the Internet’s ideals of “free expression and democratic principles”. Besides wired lines, mobile data for smartphones and tablets was placed under the new regulations. Consumer privacy protection norms and steps to bring Internet service to people in remote areas and with disabilities are also part of the new rules. Republicans hit out at the new norms, with Republican commissioner Ajit Pai saying that the net was “not broken” and therefore there “is no problem to solve”. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-vote-internet-utility.html US Federal Communications Commission, FCC, broadband Internet service, public utility, Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, net neutrality