The ruling is the culmination of a long grass roots movement to protect the openness of the Internet that including private individuals, businesses, and large political organizations. In fact, a letter sent to the FCC on behalf of over 100 companies in support of net neutrality was filed, and over four million comments were submitted to the FCC on the issue. Overall, the issue of net neutrality has been a polarizing force since the term was coined in 2005, even though it didn’t gain steam until the last few years. The issue had come to a crucial point with the federal court case of 2010 in Verizon v. FCC, where the courts struck down the original regulation intended to protect Internet openness by the FCC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C., however, agreed with the FCC in a statement alluding to the potential risks without Internet regulation, “[economic incentives by broadband providers] represent a threat to Internet openness.”
A rebuttal by Verizon on Twitter to the FCC ruling cites the reliance by the FCC on the 81 year old Federal Communications Act of 1934. The FCC ruling, however, uses portions of the 1934 Act and the updated Federal Communications Act of 1996, with an application of the rules that have governed the mobile wireless market. Specifically, the FCC ruling relies on Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the 1996 Act. The FCC’s argument is that the regulation governing the mobile wireless has allowed the facilitation of unhindered growth, and there is no reason to believe that similar regulation won’t have the same effect on the Internet and large broadband providers. To limit the amount of regulation potential, the FCC has explicitly limited the reach of the new ruling to focus on three bright line rules: (1) no blocking of access by broadband providers, (2) no throttling of speeds, and (3) no paid prioritization. The FCC’s guiding principle was to, “protect consumers no matter how they access the Internet, whether on a desktop computer or a mobile device.”
The ruling has a disproportionate effect on the broadband providers and companies that create and distribute over the Internet. The content providers, such as YouTube, Amazon, and Netflix could have been forced into a competitive bidding environment to secure “fast lane” access to their content; therefore, requiring the companies to pass the costs along to consumers. Large broadband providers, the principal opponents, have lost the opportunity to capitalize on a potentially lucrative business model by throttling the Internet and offering premium access and content distribution. For businesses not in the telecom industry the ruling has been viewed as a win as Internet costs and access to their customer-facing websites will not be affected.
 FCC.gov. FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet. Retrieved on February 27, 2015 from http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-strong-sustainable-rules-protect-open-internet.