Dec 14, 2017

FCC votes to remove net neutrality rules

Protesters rally outside the FCC headquarters before the vote. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

The FCC voted Thursday along party lines to remove net neutrality rules that prohibited internet providers from giving preferential treatment to some web content — or blocking it entirely.

Why it matters: The repeal empowers internet providers like Comcast or AT&T to charge web services like Netflix or Facebook extra fees if they want to see their content delivered faster. They also have more leeway to favor content their subsidiaries produce, or to charge customers more to access certain websites.

The details:

  • The FCC voted to remove the three “bright line” rules: no blocking, no slowing down content, and no offering websites to deliver their content faster to customers if they pay for the privilege.
  • Internet providers will have to disclose their practices to customers and be subject to regulatory oversight from the Federal Trade Commission, which critics allege is too weak an agency for the job. The Department of Justice would also continue to be free to bring an antitrust case against providers.

The debate over FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal plan has been deeply contentious. On Thursday morning, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins became the most prominant Republican lawmaker to call for the vote to be cancelled. Democratic comissioners have alleged the public input process was corrupted by fraudulent comments. And protesters convened outside of the FCC's building ahead of the vote.

What's next?: The rollback will likely be challenged in court. And some in Congress are pushing hard for a legislative fix to settle the issue once and for all or a bill to outright strip the repeal from the books.

Go deeper: What the internet landscape could look like now that the rules have been repealed.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 1,216,422 — Total deaths: 65,711 — Total recoveries: 252,478Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 312,245 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump sees "sooner rather than later" return of pro sports

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump predicted yesterday that the Republican National Convention will open as scheduled in Charlotte on Aug. 24 — "We have no contingency plan" — setting a new bar for a phased return to business in America.

The big picture: With the virus peak for New York projected as Thursday, and for the nation as April 15 (a week from Wednesday), Trump continued trying to leaven dire warnings with a sunny streak.

Go deeperArrow34 mins ago - Sports

Pope Francis delivers Palm Sunday sermon to empty St. Peter’s Basilica

Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on listeners in his Palm Sunday sermon — on the first day of Holy Week — to "reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need" during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Francis delivered his message inside an empty St. Peter’s Basilica, broadcasting it over the internet to churches around the world.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World