Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations created to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally, setting up a showdown with consumer groups and internet companies who fear the move will stifle competition and innovation.
Ajit Pai has finally unveiled a plan that would give more powers to the internet providers, enabling them to throttle internet speeds and put barriers on what websites and online services can users visit.
The move sets the stage for a crucial vote next month at the Federal Communications Commission that could reshape the entire digital ecosystem. FCC chairman Pai said, "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".
With three Republican and two Democratic commissioners, the move is all but certain to be approved. The FCC is scheduled to discuss and vote on net neutrality on December 14.More news: Aid groups urge United Nations rights council session on Rohingya crisis
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Fifteen years after the passage of the Telecommunications Act, the Federal Communications Commission traded its values of a free market for nonessential enhanced government control, most prominently after the White House had released a YouTube video urging the Federal Communications Commission to implement Title II regulations, apparently compromising the independence of the agency. Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and his board colleagues oppose repeal, saying stripping away net neutrality is a money grab for the ISP's, allowing them to make more money by charging content providers and services. More than 22 million comments have been filed with the FCC about whether net neutrality should be rolled back. Pai's FCC spiked the effort to go after AT&T, even before it began rolling out a plan to undo the net neutrality rules entirely.
- FCC is expected to share the full text of its plans tomorrow, just a day before Thanksgiving, hoping that not many eyes will catch the bad news. "Thanks in part to net neutrality, the open internet has grown to become an unrivaled source of choice, competition, innovation, free expression, and opportunity".
"The administration is moving to destroy the openness and dynamism of the internet", Pelosi said in an email message. Those who criticize the rules say undoing them is good for investment in broadband networks.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception. "We believe", Verizon said in a statement to ABC, "that users should be able to access the internet when, where, and how they choose, and our customers will continue to do so".