The original net neutrality rules went into effect in 2015. Under those regulations, broadband service was considered a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the F.C.C. broad power over internet providers. The rules prohibited the following practices:
- BLOCKING Internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps.
- THROTTLING Service providers could not slow the transmission of data based on the nature of the content, as long as it is legal.
- PAID PRIORITIZATION Service providers could not create an internet fast lane for companies and consumers who pay premiums, and a slow lane for those who don’t.
These rules are critical to start-ups and artists and other groups that do not want to be blocked or throttled and to consumers who do not want to have have to pay more for certain services. Additionally, broadband providers are sometimes also content providers and they will prioritize their own services, further harming consumers.
We need legislation that will restore net-neutrality.
Privacy–We also need legislation to restore the protection of the privacy of consumers by prohibiting the sale of their internet browsing history by internet service providers (Michael McCaul voted to end this protection).