United States regulator unveils plan to end 'net neutrality'

Alyssa Bailey
November 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.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations created to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally.

The decision will be put to a vote at the agency's December 14 meeting in Washington.

Supporters of net neutrality have argued that an end to the regulations will prompt big internet service providers to raise prices for favored, revenue-generating content such as new movies while slowing or eliminating access to less-favored and typically free material.

Under the measure, internet service providers would have to inform customers about issues including blocking, Politico reported Monday. Internet users also mocked up photos envisioning what the end of net neutrality might look like.

Under his proposal, he says "the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet".

"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. Pai said that under the new rules, ISPs would only need to be transparent about their practices for managing internet connections, and it would be up to the Federal Trade Commission to enforce consumer protection and competition rules.

More Obama-era regulations are heading to the shredder.

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Under current laws, internet service providers must treat all internet content equally. A few months from the time President Trump appointed him, Mr. Pai revealed his intention of scrapping off the rules on claims that they were put in place because of some hypothetic and theoretic harm that was anticipated.

Pai is among three Republicans on the five-member FCC.

"This is ridiculous and offensive to the millions of Americans who use the internet every day", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat.

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

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

"The most-hated and worst-rated companies will be free to block, throttle and discriminate against your speech on the internet if Trump's FCC chairman gets his way", Wood said.

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, a trade group with members including top US cable provider Comcast and No. 2 Charter Communications Inc., said it welcomed Pai's proposal. The FCC granted initial approval to Pai's plan in May, but had left open many key questions including whether to retain any legal requirements limiting internet providers conduct.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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