The FCC has just made history by placing broadband under Title II regulation in an attempt to permanently safeguard net neutrality. The 3-2 vote was the culmination of months of back-and-forth between net neutrality advocates — determined to keep the internet free and open — and ISPs, who have accused the federal government of unjustly overstepping its bounds. As the FCC's huge moment sinks in, we'll be collecting responses to today's vote below and updating as more come in.
President Obama: FCC's move keeps the internet "open and free"
Obama also had a special thanks for the Reddit community.
AT&T hints at litigation and Congress undoing everything
Instead of a clear set of rules moving forward, with a broad set of agreement behind them, we once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over – again – in the future. Partisan decisions taken on 3-2 votes can be undone on similarly partisan 3-2 votes only two years hence. And FCC decisions made without clear authorization by Congress (and who can honestly argue Congress intended this?) can be undone quickly by Congress or the courts. This may suit partisans who lust for issues of political division, but it isn’t healthy for the Internet ecosystem, for the economy, or for our political system. And, followed to its logical conclusion, this will do long-term damage to the FCC as well.
For our part, we will continue to seek a consensus solution, and hopefully bipartisan legislation, even if we are the last voice seeking agreement rather than division. And we will hope that other voices of reason will emerge, voices who recognize that animosity, exaggeration, demonization and fear-mongering are not a basis on which to make wise national policies.
Some Republican lawmakers say that's just what they'll do
We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the internet. We plan to support and urge our colleagues to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving the "Open Internet" rules. Not only will such a resolution nullify the "Open Internet" rules, the resolution will prevent the FCC from relying on Title II for any future net neutrality rules unless Congress explicitly instructs the FCC to take such action.
Verizon mocks FCC with typewriter font and warns of internet "throwback Thursday"
Comcast is not a fan of Title II
Today, the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt new Open Internet rules – rules that we support and agree should be put in place as legally enforceable by the FCC. Unfortunately, the FCC also decided to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. We are disappointed the Commission chose this route, which is certain to lead to years of litigation and regulatory uncertainty and may greatly harm investment and innovation, when the use of Section 706 alone would have provided a much more certain and legally sustainable path.
We fully embrace the open Internet principles that have been laid out by President Obama and Chairman Wheeler and that now have been adopted by the FCC. We just don’t believe statutory provisions designed for the telephone industry and adopted when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president should be stretched to govern the 21st century Internet.
After today, the only "certainty" in the Open Internet space is that we all face inevitable litigation and years of regulatory uncertainty challenging an Order that puts in place rules that most of us agree with. We believe that the best way to avoid this would be for Congress to act. We are confident this can be done in a bi-partisan manner with a consensus approach that accomplishes the common goals of stakeholders on all sides of the open Internet debate without the unnecessary focus on legal jurisdiction and the unnecessary regulatory overhang from 80 year-old language and provisions that were never intended to be applied to the Internet.
Senator Al Franken wants to celebrate
This is a an enormous victory. This is the culmination of years of hard work by countless Americans who believe — just as I do — that the internet should remain the free and open platform that it’s always been. Net neutrality is important for consumers, for small businesses and startups trying to compete with the big guys, and ultimately, for the innovation that has helped drive our economy for the past several decades.
I’m thrilled that the FCC has taken this crucial step. But the fight isn’t over as some Republicans are already working on legislation to undo all of this. So in the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to make sure everyone understands what’s at stake, and why we need to stand by the strong rules adopted by the FCC.
But in the meantime, let’s celebrate.
So does Kickstarter
A free Internet with equal access for all is vital to a diverse and vibrant culture of open exchange. We're grateful that the FCC has heard the millions of voices who believe in a free and open internet. Today's step is a huge victory, however, we must remain diligent in protecting everyone's rights as citizens of the web.
Netflix sees this as a win for consumers everywhere, but doesn't want FCC to forget about interconnection
The net neutrality debate is about who picks winners and losers online: Internet service providers or consumers. Today, the FCC settled it: Consumers win.
Today’s order is a meaningful step towards ensuring ISPs cannot shift bad conduct upstream to where they interconnect with content providers like Netflix. Net neutrality rules are only as strong as their weakest link, and it’s incumbent on the FCC to ensure these interconnection points aren’t used to end-run the principles of an open Internet.
Given the lack of competition among broadband providers, today’s other FCC decision preventing regulations that thwart local investment in new broadband infrastructure also is an important step toward ensuring greater consumer choice. These actions kick off a new era that puts the consumer, not litigious corporate giants, at the center of competition policy.
The MPAA just wants everyone to stop torrenting movies
Our narrow focus throughout the network neutrality debate has been to ensure that the rules do not thwart efforts to prevent copyright infringement, or otherwise chill production and distribution of innovative content. Until we see the order we cannot know for sure, but the FCC has previously indicated that it would continue to make clear that the rules do not apply to unlawful transmission of content, and would refrain from regulating parties on the edge of the Internet, such as content creators.
Senator John McCain promises Congress will "correct" FCC's mistake
Microsoft is pleased but looks forward to "reading the rules"
We applaud the FCC’s decision to preserve the fundamentally open nature of the Internet and look forward to reading the Order and rules.
Tumblr calls today "momentous" and thanks FCC for being brave
Today's FCC vote was a momentous one for everybody on the internet, and we couldn't be more pleased with its outcome. The majority of commissioners followed Chairman Wheeler's lead and made the brave decision to leave the internet in the hands of those who actually use it—the innovators, the entrepreneurs, and the everyday users—rather than allow it to be controlled by broadband carriers. We're also incredibly proud of the Tumblr community. When we gave them the opportunity to make their voices heard, they responded loud and clear, and their policymakers listened to what they had to say. We owe them our gratitude for helping enshrine a free, fair, and open internet for generations to come.
NCTA and big cable couldn't be more angry
With years of uncertainty and unintended consequences ahead of us, it falls to Congress to step in. Working together, our legislative leaders can protect an open Internet, while ensuring that it remains free for innovation without government permission and that it continues to create strong incentives to deploying ever-faster broadband to every American. The FCC has taken us in a distressing direction. We must now look to other branches of government for a more balanced resolution.
Broadband for America:
Today, in a partisan 3-2 vote, the FCC has abandoned over 15 years of successful bipartisan policy that, by nearly everyone's acknowledgement, has worked exceedingly well. The result? Years of legal uncertainty that will chill investment and innovation in the most successful sector of our economy while likely raising new taxes and fees on middle class families.
MoveOn.org couldn't be more happy
The American people came to the table in ways we haven’t seen before on a fundamental issue that matters to each of our lives, our economy, and our democracy. Grassroots groups and activists fought tirelessly for their right to be heard, and we prevailed despite the best efforts of corporate media lobbyists.
By protecting the open Internet from big cable companies that want to limit access, this victory levels the playing field for consumers, small businesses, and Main Street. We are grateful for the leadership of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC commissioners who voted for this plan in the face of powerful interests; for President Obama, who backed the net's roots at a pivotal time in this fight; and for the millions of Americans who spoke out powerfully and organized on this issue.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation claims "partial victory"
Partial victory: FCC votes for bright line rules protecting #netneutrality, but we're still worried about the general conduct rule.— EFF (@EFF) February 26, 2015
Wireless carriers say the FCC just put our "5G future" at risk
The FCC’s Net Neutrality decision was disappointing and unnecessary: consumers across the U.S. have – and will always have – access to an open mobile Internet. By ignoring the fundamental differences in wireless networks and disregarding the intense competition throughout the mobile ecosystem, the FCC abandoned a long-standing policy framework responsible for fostering America’s world-leading wireless industry. The FCC's claim that the mobile voice experience supports the FCC's efforts distorts history and the law, turning a deregulatory statute in 1993 on its head. Title II needlessly puts at risk our nation’s 5G future and the promise of a more connected life.
CEA thinks Title II is "the wrong approach"
Today’s vote by the FCC reclassifying broadband as a Title II public utility service takes us in the wrong direction on the information superhighway. CEA supports a light regulatory regime that strikes the appropriate balance among fostering innovation, promoting competition and maintaining broad access to and across the Internet. With this vote, the Commission has instead placed regulatory shackles and new legal risks on the Internet and those who use this technological marvel to create critical new services, products and jobs. The end result for consumers: less choice, higher costs and reduced innovation.
Same goes for USTelecom
What is remarkable is that the commission’s overreach is so unnecessary. Broadband service providers are operating in complete conformance with the open Internet standards advanced by the president, we agree with the standards, we support their adoption in regulation by the FCC under Section 706, and we support their enactment into law. We will now turn to the courts for review, and given the broad consensus that exists on the underlying objectives, will look forward to working with the Congress on a bipartisan basis to advance legislation.
And the Telecommunications Industry Association
The uncertainty created by the FCC’s plan will jeopardize the fast pace of private sector investment and improvements. In addition to having an immediate impact on investment, the FCC’s plan is a Trojan Horse. If Title II is not struck down by the courts, a new Administration or new Commissioners could push the FCC to implement the full, heavy-handed regulatory authority it provides.
We are confident that Title II regulation will be rejected as Congress, the courts and consumers fully understand how it will hold back investment, innovation and growth. While we support the coming legal challenges, our plan is to work with Congress to find a reasonable, balanced approach to an open Internet.