“This order highlights the unprecedented lengths that the commission is willing to go in undermining the free market system, the federal statute, the U.S. Constitution and common sense in order to try to dictate where, when and how broadband is provided in this country,” FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly (R) said before the vote on Thursday.
The regulatory agency voted 3-2 on enforcing “net neutrality”, with all Democrats voting in favor of the rules.
Supporters claim that allowing broadband to be reclassified as a utility, and giving the commission regulatory power over the internet, will prevent internet service providers from slowing data. Opponents claim the move is government overreach, destined to create new taxes and hurt free market competition.
Much of the industry opposes the regulations, which are expected to generate lawsuits.