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Net Neutrality Arguments: Internet Mocks What Deregulated Future May Look Like

22 November, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Trump FCC chair unveils plan to repeal net neutrality

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, on Tuesday unveiled a plan to undo the Obama-era rules that have been in place since 2015.

"By repealing basic net neutrality protections, the FCC is handing over full control of the internet to providers, leaving the American people with fewer choices and less access". Pai, a Republican, set a December 14 vote on overturning rules adopted by the FCC in 2015, saying he wants to move away from "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the internet".

Pai's proposal would require internet service providers to disclose whether they allow blocking or slowing down of consumer web access or permit so-called internet fast lanes to facilitate a practice called paid prioritization of charging for certain content.

"We're very encouraged by Chairman Pai's announcement today that the FCC will move forward next month to restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for internet services", Verizon said in its statement.

"Businesses large and small will have a clearer path to invest more in our nation's broadband infrastructure under Chairman Pai's leadership", the post continued.

The FCC's plan has also stirred up heated resistance on Reddit, where numerous users are calling for USA citizens to contact their state representatives to demand their support for net neutrality.


Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's pretty much how the internet has worked since its creation.

Pai, who has repeatedly rejected claims that the FCC is making rules changes with Sinclair in mind, said the review will include public input.

"This is ridiculous and offensive to the millions of Americans who use the internet every day", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat. "We have proof that markets work: For nearly two decades, the USA had a free and open internet without these heavy-handed rules".

The FCC under Obama regulated internet service providers like public utilities under a section of federal law that gave the agency sweeping oversight over the conduct of these companies.

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Jonathan Spalter, chief executive officer of the trade group USTelecom with member including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc., said in an emailed statement. Netflix, Google, Facebook and Twitter, all based in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, are against repeal. They say the regulations can undermine investment in broadband and introduced uncertainty about what were acceptable business practices. "If Internet access providers can block some services and cut special deals that prioritize some companies' content over others, that would threaten the innovation that makes the Internet awesome".

Several internet companies are strongly opposed to the move.

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