The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has voted to kill off net neutrality, in a move that could completely change how the internet works.
As expected, the FCC board voted 3-2 in favour of repealing the Obama-era rules.
The result hands an enormous amount of power to internet service providers (ISPs), which will no longer need to treat all internet traffic equally.
The net neutrality rules prevented ISPs from blocking content, throttling connections to certain sites and services, and providing preferential treatment to others.
Supporters of net neutrality say this will result in ISPs carving the internet into “fast and slow lanes”, and customers being charged more.
They also say it could harm competition. ISPs that have their own video services, for instance, could choose to slow down customers’ connections when they tried to use a competing service, such as Netflix.
The proposal had been put forward by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by Donald Trump and used to work for Verizon.
Pai has argued that the rules are “heavy handed” and actually stifle competition.