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“ Well, it didn't take long for Republicans to spin the issue by crying about losing "internet freedom." Sadly, some people will fall for this. The only "freedom" internet regulation would take away is the freedom of ISPs to offer increasingly crappy speeds and hold subscribers and website owners hostage to pay-to-play rules while they hike the rates on everyone. Unbelievable. ”

J C NPRThursday, February 26, 2015 12:52 PM

NPR2015-02-27T07:24:42.000Z

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

The dissenting votes came from Michael O'Rielly and Ajut Pai, Republicans who warned that the FCC was overstepping its authority and interfering in commerce to solve a problem that doesn't exist. They also complained that the measure's 300-plus pages weren't publicly released or openly debated.

The new policy would replace a prior version adopted in 2010 — but that was put on hold following a legal challenge by Verizon. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last year that the FCC did not have sufficient regulatory power over broadband.

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