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FCC receives bomb threat during net neutrality repeal hearing

A bomb threat was called during an FCC meeting Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules, which were put into place in 2015. The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal a set of internet regulations. Protesters are seen outside the meeting. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Federal Communications Commission hearing on net neutrality was interrupted Thursday by a bomb threat, according to published reports. The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to repeal a set of internet regulations collectively known as "net neutrality" that were enacted in 2015.

“I am being advised by security that we are going to have to take a break,” FCC Commission Chairman Ajit Pai calmly told the audience at the hearing, the Daily Caller reported.

Next, a security guard loudly told everyone to exit the building and leave their belongings in the FCC chambers. An adviser to a commission member told The Daily Caller that a bomb threat was called into the office. Specifically, the threat indicated a briefcase was about to explode.

Federal police and drug-sniffing dogs scanned the room, and everyone was allowed to return to the chambers after about 10 minutes, according to the Daily Mail.

What does the FCC vote mean?

The FCC's ruling allows internet service providers to discriminate on the basis of price and speed. This means that ISPs will now be allowed to charge higher prices and/or throttle speeds for higher bandwidth applications and end users.

Critics of the rules argue that net neutrality makes the internet more expensive for lower bandwidth users and also stifles both the development of new internet applications and investment in internet infrastructure.

Following the vote, the FCC chairman said internet users will see little difference.

“Americans will still be able to access the websites they want to visit," Pai said. "They will still be able to enjoy the services they want to enjoy."

Who else opposed the FCC vote?

Among those opposing the repeal were representatives of Hollywood, and Google and Facebook, the Daily Mail reported. Various trade groups and consumer advocates are planning a legal challenge to keep the old rules in place.

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