In case you missed it — or maybe you were too preoccupied with all of the silly llama drama to notice — the FCC approved net neutrality rules on Thursday. The rules classify Internet providers as public utilities, which means they will be subject to federal regulations as telephone companies are. “The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules,” said FCC chair Tom Wheeler.
What does it all mean? Here are five stories related to the ruling:
Netflix is happy. The streaming video service classified the FCC ruling as a big win for consumers — and just in time for “House of Cards” season three. (Related: I hope this means a greater selection of movies.)
Big tech isn’t. Not so long ago, Google execs “would have been popping champagne corks” in celebration of the FCC ruling. Not so today. “The short answer is that Google grew up,” writes Fortune’s Tory Newmyer. “Its transformation into a corporate colossus reordered its Washington agenda as it rapidly assembled a lobbying apparatus to promote it.”
The Dutch, who’ve had net neutrality for two years, seem OK with it. The New York Times looks at the impact similar regulations have had on the Netherlands, a country of 17 million people about the size of Maryland.
Obama: “Thanks, reddit!” The president expressed his appreciation for the reddit community’s support of net neutrality with a handwritten note. “Wish I could upvote every one of you for keeping the internet open and free.”
The John Oliver effect. Perhaps the most interesting angle to this story is the speculation that HBO’s John Oliver played a substantial role in at least raising the visibility of net neutrality beyond the view of a few policy wonks and telecom execs. Last June, he pleaded with viewers to contact the FCC about net neutrality. Thousands did.