What Is Title 2 Net Neutrality?

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Updated January 6, 2023

Internet users concerned with consumer privacy and the broadband industry should understand what common carrier net neutrality means. Under net neutrality rules, internet service providers (ISPs) must provide equal broadband internet access to everyone in the online marketplace. US net neutrality regulations ended in 2018, along with the Title 2 classification of broadband providers. If you’re curious about America’s current net neutrality rules, stick around to learn what is Title 2 net neutrality.


  • Title II network neutrality allows the US FCC to regulate ISPs as common carriers.
  • Common carriers must provide equal access to their services, and they cannot block lawful content or discriminate against consumers.
  • Broadband providers were under Title II regulations until the FCC repealed US net neutrality laws in 2018.

Once you’ve finished here, we also recommend reading up on the issues with net neutrality, why some consider net neutrality bad, what consumer privacy means, and the difference between sensitive and personal data.

Insider Tip

Use a VPN to prevent your ISP from throttling and tracking your internet traffic.

What Are Common Carrier Net Neutrality Regulations?

The Communications Act of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and organized the federal regulation of telecommunications services and radio. Title II of the 1934 law allows the FCC to regulate these companies as common carriers, meaning telecom companies must provide equal access to their networks. Additionally, Title II common carrier service providers are an essential service that cannot block lawful content or discriminate against users.

Title II Net Neutrality

The FCC adopted net neutrality in 2015 and categorized ISPs as common carriers. Under the 2015 rules, the FCC could perform enforcement actions against ISPs that engage in anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices. Additionally, the regulations prevented business practices like paid prioritization and blocking application-specific behavior.

In 2017, the FCC repealed the Obama-era network neutrality regulations and placed internet cable companies back under a Title I classification. This deregulation ended the FCC’s authority over broadband providers.

What is the Title II Net Neutrality Debate?

Advocates of strict rules claim the reclassification of broadband providers is necessary for adequate net neutrality protections. Under the Title II classification of broadband networks, ISPs could not block content channels or engage in abusive practices like paid fast lanes.


Consumer broadband services can throttle congestion-sensitive content like large file downloads or gaming online.

Fans of limited regulations see common carrier rules as unfair actions against broadband service providers. They view Title II regulations as bad news for consumers and broadband infrastructure. ISPs have little reason to invest in or upgrade broadband services without a path to further financial benefits.

STAT: Six percent of Americans in a 2019 Pew Research Center survey reported feeling that their data is more vulnerable today than in the past. (source)

What is Title 2 Net Neutrality FAQs

What’s bad about net neutrality regulations?

The anti-neutrality regime claim that network neutrality regulations hinder broadband network investment and optimization. Additionally, neutrality opponents argue that broadband customers could save money by paying for specific segments of the internet, like a cable TV subscription. The anti-regulatory regime claims that paid prioritization and selective throttling encourage broadband competition.

Can ISPs block websites?

Without net neutrality regulations, ISPs can block and throttle legal online content providers under First Amendment grounds. Consumers can ask their ISP to block specific websites and applications, something illegal under Title II neutrality regulations. Additionally, internet providers can block online services like VPNs and disable communication ports.

Why are net neutrality protections important?

Proponents argue that net neutrality protections are essential for a free and open broadband ecosystem. They claim that these regulations shorten the digital divide and prevent tech companies from controlling the online discourse. Additionally, they propose that net neutrality principles ensure equivalent access to broadband for consumers, small businesses, and large corporations.
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