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'LOTR'-esque FCC Vote Inches Net Neutrality Closer To Doom

The FCC voted Thursday to proceed with a notice of proposed of rulemaking that could one day open a new Internet "fast lane."
Posted at 4:09 PM, May 15, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with its Net neutrality plans following a 3-2 vote Thursday. The decision will start a new round of rulemaking and public comment and could do serious damage to the open Internet.

If you've missed the hubbub, allow us to explain the widely held view of how the fight for Net neutrality is going down. (Via The Verge)

With Gandalf's foreshadowing Wednesday, it seems only fitting we continue in suit: (Via Warner Bros. / "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers")

The armies of Net neutrality included U.S. senators, big-name tech companies and lots of voices on Reddit and Twitter against the financial and inertial might of incumbent ISPs and former cable lobbyist turned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. (Via Warner Bros. / "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King")

Of course, that's where the analogy starts to break down. Today's decision came by the vote, not by the sword, and supporters of Net neutrality didn't win this particular fight.

"All those in favor, say aye."


"The ayes have it. The order is adopted." (Via C-SPAN)

The vote was along party lines. Both Republican members dissented.

Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly worried the proposal "exceeded the agency's legal authority" — that it was instead a matter for elected officials in Congress, who are more accountable to the people. (Via The New York Times, NAB.org)

In his remarks ahead of the vote, Chairman Wheeler sought to reassure: "There is one Internet. Not a fast Internet. Not a slow Internet. One Internet. Those who have been expressing themselves will now be able to see what we are actually proposing." (Via Ars Technica)

The full text of the notice of proposed rulemaking is set to be released to the public today.

Next comes a 60-day public comment period, followed by 60 days for the FCC to respond to what will likely be a fresh torrent of public outcry. (Via CNET)

Anyone have an extra Army of the Dead? You know, just in case?