FCC plans to repeal net neutrality rules for Internet service providers

Nichole Vega
Ноября 22, 2017

The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled plans on Tuesday to repeal landmark 2015 rules that prohibited internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content in a move that promises to recast the digital landscape.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a President Trump appointee, will seek to remove the regulations that require internet service providers to produce web traffic equally, sources told Politico.

On Dec. 14, the commissioners will vote on whether to roll back regulations instituted in 2015 for companies that include AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. The plan includes reversing the rule that now treats broadband as a utility, removes protections that keep ISPs from blocking or slowing service and will shift some oversight power over to the FTC.

"Ajit Pai may be owned by Verizon, but he has to answer to Congress, and lawmakers have to answer to us, their constituents", said Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future.

Chairman Pai had said earlier this year that the 2015 net neutrality rules were a burden to businesses and innovation. Skype is a service that could be affected by repeal of net neutrality rules. The proposed rollback of Net Neutrality rules makes no sense.

The Internet Association had also said that the repeal will actually harm investment in the tech industry as "in a world without net neutrality protections, startups would face discrimination from ISP owned or preferred content that's granted a speed advantage through paid prioritization". "We have proof that markets work: For nearly two decades, the USA had a free and open internet without these heavy-handed rules". The commission has five seats and the vote is expected to fall along party lines, with the three Republican members voting in favor.

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A USA appeals court a year ago upheld the legality of the net neutrality regulations, which were challenged in a lawsuit led by telecommunications industry trade association US Telecom.

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Spalter said in a statement.

Republican Representatives Greg Walden, of OR, and Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee, said Pai's plan shows the FCC "understands the importance of making sure the internet continues to flourish under a light-touch regulatory regime".

"Strong net neutrality protections must be in place to maintain a truly open and free internet", said Peters. Free Press has shown time and again that Title II is the best and only foundation in present law for Net Neutrality rules; it also gives the FCC the authority to enforce other rules related to broadband affordability, privacy and competition.

"The open internet uplifts the voices of people of color and racial-justice advocates, activists and dissenters of all stripes, independent content creators and journalists, and entrepreneurs".

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