The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications. Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, without discriminating or charging differently by user, content, website, or application.

Key Update

The FCC has voted to reinstate net neutrality, reversing the 2017 rollback. The order, titled "Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet," restores protections originally established in 2015. This decision prevents ISPs from blocking or slowing down access to websites or services that don't pay extra fees. Despite opposition citing concerns about regulation and innovation, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the need for consistent rules to protect consumers and ensure fair access. The new rules aim to prevent practices like zero rating, where certain services are excluded from data caps, leading to unfair competition.

Technical Terms

Net neutrality

A policy ensuring all internet traffic is treated equally.

Zero Rating

When ISPs don't count certain data towards a user's data cap, often favoring their own services.

Relevance to New Tech Career Seekers

Understanding net neutrality is crucial for aspiring tech professionals as it affects the internet's openness and innovation landscape. With these rules, startups and new tech ventures can compete on a level playing field without fearing that larger companies will buy better access.

Relevance to Small Business Owners

Small businesses benefit from net neutrality because it ensures their websites and online services are accessible at the same speed as those of larger competitors. This regulation helps maintain fair competition, allowing small businesses to reach customers without paying extra fees for better service.