from the guardian
Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility.
Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler – a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters – thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. “Your participation has made this the most open process in FCC history,” he said. “We listened and we learned.”
Wheeler said that while other countries were trying to control the internet, the sweeping new US protections on net neutrality – the concept that all information and services should have equal access online – represented “a red-letter day for internet freedom”.
“The internet is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” said Wheeler. “Today’s order is more powerful and more expansive than any previously suggested.”