The FCC, led by chairman Ajit Pai, voted to dismantle the rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or slowing websites, or charging them special fees to get their content in front of users. Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, argued that an unregulated internet would boost innovation and help the economy.
But entrepreneurs disagree, saying the decision could allow large companies to pay for higher-quality service while smaller businesses suffer. Among the entrepreneurs speaking out were Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg, Reddit's co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and Airbnb's co-founder Brian Chesky, who took to social media on Thursday to voice their concerns and disappointment.
The FCC's vote to repeal net neutrality is wrong & disappointing. A free & open internet is critical to innovation, an open society, & widespread access to economic empowerment. @Airbnb will continue to speak out for net neutrality.-- Brian Chesky (@bchesky) December 14, 2017
It will take weeks for the repeal to go into effect, meaning internet users will not see any changes immediately. However, many Democrats on Capitol Hill said they will file a suit to stop the changes. What's more, several public interest groups including the Internet Association, Public Knowledge, Free Press, and Common Cause are also considering legal action, according to Reuters.