A landmark ruling by the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday has given the U.S. Government the power to regulate the internet. The FCC’s net neutrality ruling was passed with a vote of 3-2, with the two dissenting Republicans giving very vocal opposition to the move. Get the full story, plus pictures and video below!

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)






Under the premise of protecting the freedom of the internet from ever-expanding internet providers, the commission laid out rules to prohibit access providers from blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices. A growing number of incidences of complaints about unethical activities by ISPs spurred the vote.

Up until now, ISPs have had free reign to selectively slow or block users or applications at will. More often than not, users that sapped bandwidth with applications such as Skype or streaming video services have been the target of the ISP manipulations. With the FCC’s net neutrality ruling, such practices will be made illegal. However, while this overview of the commission’s decision may put the ruling in a good light, it’s rare that regulation by a bureaucratic body ends well for consumers. Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president of public affairs, says the decision could end badly for consumers.

“Based on today’s announcement, the FCC appears to assert broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband wire line and wireless networks and the Internet itself,” Tauke said. “This assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators, and investors. In the long run, that is harmful to consumers and the nation.”

Whether or not the decision is ultimately harmful or beneficial, there’s one gaping hole in the commission’s new policy: mobile internet. All of the regulation described so far only applies to fixed internet consumers and providers. For now, the ever-growing mobile market will remain free from oversight.

“Those who go online with a wireless device will be at the mercy of the big telephone companies to practice whatever mischief they wish,” Gigi B. Sohn, president and cofounder of the nonprofit advocacy group Public Knowledge said. “Cell phones and smart phones are the fastest growing and a major Internet on-ramp for poor Americans.”

In the end, it’s a decision between the lesser of two evils. Do consumers want corporations in control of the internet? Or would they rather give up another freedom to the government? Let me know your thoughts on the FCC’s net neutrality ruling in the comment section, and don’t miss the pictures and video on the story below!

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)