The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 Thursday to end Obama-era regulations that dictate how providers treat the accessibility of content on the Internet.
The repeal of the net neutrality regulations could usher in big changes in how Americans use the Internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight.
The change has also sparked nationwide protests from consumers who worry cable and phone companies will have greater control over what they see and do online.
The 2015 regulations were created to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all online content and applications the same.
While reading about net neutrality, you may come across certain terms. Here are some which may be helpful.
Broadband: This “commonly refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access,” the FCC says.
Items like cable modem service, fiber optic technology and wireless broadband all fall into this category, it explains.
General Internet conduct standard: A vague rule that allows the FCC to regulate open Internet practices.
The agency says on its "Restoring Internet Freedom" webpage that the rule "gives the FCC far-reaching discretion to prohibit any ISP practice that it believes runs afoul of a long and incomplete list of factors."
Internet service provider (ISP): Companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon which offer web access to consumers.
Net neutrality: The current rules impose utility-style regulations on ISPs to prevent them from favoring their own digital services over those of their rivals.
“Broadband service providers cannot block or deliberately slow speeds for Internet services or apps, favor some Internet traffic in exchange for consideration, or engage in other practices that harm Internet openness,” the FCC says.
Throttling: When ISPs purposely slow traffic.
Fox News' Kaitlyn Schallhorn and the Associated Press contributed to this report.