Net neutrality is shorthand for the concept that internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the internet. Net neutrality policies ensure that service providers cannot block or throttle internet traffic – regardless of the sites that users visit or the devices they use. NAR supports legislative and regulatory efforts to ensure that internet providers adhere to net neutrality practices. Net neutrality practices are essential to ensure that REALTOR® content may be freely and efficiently distributed online.
In April 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), chaired by Tom Wheeler, published a rule implementing open internet regulations that prohibit the blocking or degrading of lawful content on the internet by internet service providers.
In November 2017, the FCC, under chairman Ajit Pai, released a plan to dismantle these landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.
On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted on to dismantle its net neutrality regulations. See how the FCC plan hurts REALTORS® and their businesses in this video produced by NAR a week before the FCC voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations.
On June 11, 2018, the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules took effect.
On October 1, 2019, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the FCC’s decision but found that the FCC had overstepped its authority when it banned states from enacting their own net neutrality rules. California, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have already enacted legislation or adopted resolutions protecting net neutrality. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have introduced bills and resolutions. NAR will continue to work with Congress and the FCC to protect our members’ ability to freely share lawful content on the internet.