FCC Issues Net Neutrality Final Rule

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Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the anticipated final rule to reclassify broadband internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act, thus reestablishing the FCC's 2015 net neutrality regulations. The rule goes into effect on July 22, 2024.

On May 22, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its final rule to reestablish its authority over broadband internet access service (BIAS) by reclassifying it as a telecommunications service under the Communications Act. Similar to the proposed rule, the final rule largely restores the net neutrality regulations adopted by the FCC in 2015. The regulations were rescinded by the Trump administration's FCC in 2017.Footnote1

In the final rule, the FCC reinstates prohibitions on blocking, throttling, or creating paid or affiliated prioritization arrangements for internet traffic. Additionally, the final rule reinstates a general conduct standard prohibiting broadband provider actions that might negatively impact net neutrality and thereby unreasonably disadvantage consumers. Through the final rule, the FCC aims to ensure internet service providers (ISPs) do not take advantage of internet consumers by using their control of consumers' broadband access to elevate the providers' interests—especially their financial interests—over the consumer's right to access the lawful online content and services of their choice.

In December 2023, EDUCAUSE and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) submitted comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to highlight the importance of consumer internet access based on the principles of net neutrality to higher education institutions and their communities.Footnote2 EDUCAUSE and the ARL reaffirmed their support for the FCC's 2015 rule and thus established their support for the proposed rule, arguing that the regulations would allow institutions to best serve their stakeholder communities into the future. As such, EDUCAUSE is supportive of the final rule.

The final rule goes into effect on July 22, 2024. EDUCAUSE will keep members apprised of future updates relating to net neutrality.


  1. Federal Communications Commission, "Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet; Restoring Internet Freedom," Federal Register 89, no. 100 (May 22, 2024): 45404–45556; Bailey Graves, "EDUCAUSE Submits Comments on Proposed Net Neutrality Rule," EDUCAUSE Review, February 13, 2024; Jarret Cummings, "FCC Votes to Restore Strong Net Neutrality Protections," EDUCAUSE Review, March 4, 2015; Jarret Cummings, "Higher Education and Library Groups Respond to New FCC Rule-Making on Network Neutrality," May 18, 2017. Jump back to footnote 1 in the text.
  2. EDUCAUSE and the Association of Research Libraries letter to the Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, "Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet, WC Docket 23–320," December 14, 2023. Jump back to footnote 2 in the text.

Bailey Graves is a Senior Associate at Ulman Public Policy.

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