The Federal Communications Commission is trying to consolidate broadcast TV spectrum in order to free up more bandwidth for wireless data transmission. The initial bids to buy back the airwaves used by some Northwest TV stations reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler gestures near the end of a hearing for a vote on Net Neutrality, Feb. 26, 2015
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Today, the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality in a 3-2 vote. That means that Internet service providers, which includes cable companies like Comcast, can’t selectively slow down Internet data speeds in favor of paid fast lanes.

So what does that mean for consumers and companies in the Seattle area?

Later this morning, the Federal Communications Commission will take a vote on adopting new rules that would keep the Internet neutral.

Update at 1 p.m. ET 2/26: FCC Adopts Net Neutrality

FCC Proposal Would Boost Internet TV

Dec 24, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a technical rule change that will make it easier for the Internet to compete with traditional TV and cable channels.

In essence the agency wants to broaden the definition of a pay-TV provider, so that on-line video streaming would be treated in the same category as cable or satellite TV and video, as long as that on-line service is provided by a company that also offers a traditional TV channel.

Flickr Photo/Ian Britton (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Maggie Reardon, senior writer for CNET News, about the Federal Communications Commission's decision to forgo an appeal of the court ruling that threw out net neutrality rules. The FCC has announced it will rewrite the existing rules instead.

Flickr Photo/Jonathan Moreau (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with CNET News senior writer Maggie Reardon about Tuesday's federal appeals court decision that says Internet service providers aren't required to treat all Internet traffic equally.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

David Hyde speaks with Voice of Vashon co-founder Susan McCabe. The online radio station is applying for a new low-power FM station.

Phone calls made by inmates at Washington correctional institutions are expensive. That cost goes up if they’re calling out of state. A new ruling today  by the Federal Communications Commission will limit just how much an inmate will have to pay to connect with people on the outside.

The fight to lower inmate calling costs has gone on for more than a decade.