FCC chief plans to ditch USA 'net neutrality' rules

Bill Rogers
November 22, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to do away with "net neutrality" rules that supporters argue are created to keep the web free and open for all.

The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on Chairman Chairman Ajit Pai's recommendation to loosen regulation on Internet service providers. He distributed his alternative plan to other FCC commissioners Tuesday in preparation for a December 14 vote on the proposal, and promised to release his entire proposal Wednesday. The principle was born as regulators, consumer advocates and internet companies voiced concern about what broadband companies could do with their power as the gateway to the internet - blocking or slowing down apps that rival their own services, for example. "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them".

"Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be free and open for everyone", said Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.

"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. Meanwhile, Donald Trump expressed his opposition to net neutrality in 2014 before the regulations were even implemented, calling it a "power grab" by Obama.

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. If the repeal is enacted, internet service providers (ISP's), such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, would be free to decide which content and which companies could get faster speeds, including their own.

"Strong net neutrality protections must be in place to maintain a truly open and free internet", said Peters. They say the regulations can undermine investment in broadband and introduced uncertainty about what were acceptable business practices. It ignores the law and the courts, which have repeatedly upheld the 2015 Title II rules.

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"He said the FTC will once again "police" service providers, protect consumers and promote competition like before 2015".

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulates a draft of a rulemaking to consider retaining, modifying or eliminating the cap that, with the restoration of the UHF discount earlier this year, now enables TV station groups to reach as many as 78% of TV homes.

Under the Obama Administration, the FCC regulated internet service providers like public utilities that gave the agency sweeping oversight over the conduct of these companies.

"The Internet should be competitive and open", Google said on its website.

"Network providers have business incentives to make their media products more desirable than their competitors, like Netflix or YouTube", the assistant professor said, via CBS News.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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