Net Neutrality Arguments: Internet Mocks What Deregulated Future May Look Like

Posted November 22, 2017

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), pauses while speaking during an open meeting in Washington on November 16.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (pictured) called existing net neutrality rules "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" that have "depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation". A vote on the proposal is set for December 14.

"Net neutrality" regulations, created to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favouring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block.

Under the measure, internet service providers would have to inform customers about issues including blocking, Politico reported Monday.

What will the changes to net neutrality mean for internet users?

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

"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.

The FCC chairman said his plan will put the Federal Trade Commission - "the most experienced privacy cop. back on the beat to protect consumers' online privacy". According to reports, the chairman will seek to overturn almost all of the Net Neutrality safeguards put in place during the Obama administration. Then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called it a victory, saying the rules allowed the commission to act as an Internet "referee". 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.

Pai is among three Republicans on the five-member FCC. "We have proof that markets work: For nearly two decades, the USA had a free and open internet without these heavy-handed rules". It ignores the law and the courts, which have repeatedly upheld the 2015 Title II rules.

The repeal would be welcome news for major telecoms, who have lobbied extensively to gut regulations that restrict their control over internet traffic.

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"What Chairman Pai has proposed is risky and wrong, and he's going about it in the most incoherent and incompetent way possible".

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.

"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.

"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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