The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies the power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences. The agency scrapped the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone service.
The Federal Communications Commission is preparing a full repeal of net neutrality rules that require broadband providers to give consumers equal access to all content on the internet, putting more power in the hands of those companies to dictate people’s online experiences.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group (Smith) and the Trump administration’s F.C.C. chief (Pai) see eye-to-eye on the need to unleash television. An examination of the F.C.C. records shows that the Smith-Pai alliance does not follow the familiar script of a lobbyist with deep pockets influencing policy. Instead, it is a case of a powerful regulator and an industry giant sharing a political ideology, and suddenly, with the election of Mr. Trump, having free rein to pursue it — with both Mr. Smith, 66, and Mr. Pai, 44, reaping rewards.