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FCC takes first step to repeal tough net neutrality rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Federal regulators on Thursday took the first formal step toward repealing tough net neutrality rules enacted two years ago that imposed strict oversight of Internet service providers to ensure the unfettered flow of online content.

The move by the Federal Communications Commission — cheered on by major broadband companies and strongly opposed by consumer advocates — is part of a broader effort by Republicans since President Trump took office to undo regulations enacted during the Obama era.

With net neutrality supporters, including Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), protesting outside the agency’s building, the Republican-controlled FCC voted 2-1 along party lines to start a formal, months-long process of dismantling the rules put in place in 2015

The FCC said the goal was to restore the “light-touch” regulation that had allowed the Internet to flourish.

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