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U.S. Federal Communications Commission votes to repeal net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

The 3-2 vote overturned net neutrality rules that barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to content or allowing websites to pay for “fast lanes” to get their content more quickly to consumers.

Republicans said the internet will operate essentially the same without what they see as heavy-handed government rules, while Democrats said the repeal will allow internet providers to change how people access content. Net neutrality advocates have planned a legal challenge aimed at preserving the rules. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)