The FCC voted 3-2 today to move forward with chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed net neutrality rules.
While Wheeler has argued the proposal will help keep the Internet open, it has caused an uproar across the web as it could allow for Internet Service Providers to allow some content and service providers to pay to more easily access users. Advocates argue that could come at the cost of Internet innovation and the expense of consumers.
Wheeler was joined in the vote by fellow Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly voted against it. The Republican commissioners have indicated they support looser regulation as it pertains to the issue.
The proposal is not final. It will now open to public input. The FCC hopes to have new rules in place by the end of the year, after its previous standards were struck down by a federal appeals court.
Advocates have pushed for broadband Internet to be labeled as a utility, which would allow for greater regulation by the government. It stands to reason that this demand will be a focal point of the public comment period over the coming months.
Reaction on Twitter was generally (and unsurprisingly) unsupportive.