The 2015 “net neutrality” rules were one of the signature regulatory actions of the Obama administration, requiring broadband providers to treat all traffic equally, without blocking or slowing content, or providing fast lanes for favored sites and services.
Republicans say the shift will unwind what they consider to be a regulatory overreach, restoring vitality to the broadband economy and benefiting consumers with more choices as well as lower prices.
The FCC’s five commissioners are scheduled to vote on the rules Thursday morning, and the three Republicans on the board are widely expected to back the change.
The dismantling of the Obama-era rules isn’t expected to change the delivery of web content to consumers overnight. But internet-service providers such as Comcast Corp. or Verizon Communications Inc. would be free to begin offering new packages with pricing schemes that deliver some kinds of content but not others. One type of service that could proliferate in the new regime is zero-rating deals, where specific websites or services are exempted from a mobile carrier’s data caps.