The Four States NPR News Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Net neutrality could be making a comeback. What's changed?

A woman holds a 'Save the Net' protest sign during a demonstration against the proposed repeal of net neutrality outside the Federal Communications Commission headquarters  in Washington, DC.
A woman holds a 'Save the Net' protest sign during a demonstration against the proposed repeal of net neutrality outside the Federal Communications Commission headquarters in Washington, DC.

Net neutrality. The debate surrounding the phrase is as old as the term itself.

Coined in 2003 by Columbia University’s Tim Wu, net neutrality seemed like a settled matter thanks to Obama-era rules about how internet service providers could restrict access to the World Wide Web. That all changed when the Trump administration repealed these regulations.

But now, the question has returned to the proverbial table. 

Last week, the Federal Communication Commission voted to move forward with plans to restore those regulations, something FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel has long favored.The question at the discussion’s core is whether the internet should be classified as a utility that is regulated like water or electricity.

Even though the debate over net neutrality has been going on since the days of dial-up, the internet plays a very different role in our lives than it did in its early days. So where does the discussion go from here?

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven