The FCC has unveiled its plan to repeal its net neutrality rules

Ken Copeland
November 22, 2017

The rules, which the commission is expected to vote on at its December 14 meeting, would replace those Open Internet or Net neutrality rules, which prevented Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling legal content users sought to access, as well as preventing ISPs from accepting payment to prioritize some data.

The so-called net neutrality rules prevent broadband companies from slowing down or blocking any sites or apps.

The dispute over net neutrality has been the subject of several court battles, with backers arguing rules are needed to guard against powerful broadband firms like Comcast and AT&T acting as "gatekeepers" which can punish rivals.

"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet", Pai said in an emailed statement.

Ajit Pai blasted the rules that were introduced by the Obama administration as "heavy-handed, utility-style".

"We should simply set rules of the road that let companies of all kinds in every sector compete and let consumers decide who wins and loses", he added.

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. "Even for this FCC and its leadership, this proposal raises hypocrisy to new heights".

"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.

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For businesses like Netflix, they could be forced to pay ISPs for access to fast lane speeds in order to keep up their level of service. Internet users also mocked up photos envisioning what the end of net neutrality might look like.

"Strong net neutrality protections must be in place to maintain a truly open and free internet", said Peters. "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".

Net neutrality advocates are outraged, and plans for protests are underway.

"He said the FTC will once again "police" service providers, protect consumers and promote competition like before 2015". Pai, a Republican, was installed by President Donald Trump.

The planned repeal represents the latest example of a legacy achievement of Obama being erased since Trump took office in January.

Pai, who has moved quickly to undo numerous regulatory actions since becoming FCC chairman, is pushing a broad deregulatory agenda.

Republicans and internet service providers have said the rules adopted by a Democratic-run FCC gave the agency too much power over companies, including the possibility of rate regulation.

Language in the new proposal would give the FCC significantly less authority to oversee the web.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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