FCC Chairman working to eliminate net neutrality

23 Novembre, 2017, 00:25 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • FCC Chairman working to eliminate net neutrality

The main difference from the current policy is that broadband internet access would be classified under Title I of the Communications Act instead of under Title II - basically, ISPs would be "information services" instead of "public utilities". The internet must be open, fair, and competitive for all users, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

"This so-called investigation is nothing more than a transparent attempt by a partisan supporter of the Obama Administration's heavy-handed Internet regulations to gain publicity for himself", an FCC spokesperson told NBC.

But Pai argued that those rules stifled innovation and amounted to government overreach.

The FCC also made it clear that state and local laws will be preempted if they conflict with the U.S. government's policy or deregulating the internet, meaning that states can't maintain net neutrality laws.

The FCC's proposal also puts additional pressure on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have called for federal legislation that would supersede any FCC rules. All major ISPs have publicly committed to preserving an open internet and the proposed transparency rules will require that all ISPs clearly and publicly articulate their internet practices.

But Pai's announcement set off a firestorm of criticism from 'nternet companies and activists who vowed to hold demonstrations ahead of the FCC's vote.

Pai distributed his alternative plan to other FCC commissioners Tuesday in preparation for a December 14 vote.

Read the entire draft order here.

Commissioner Brendan Carr expressed his support for the order.

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Net-neutrality rules have been a political hot potato for over a decade. "Congress must stop Chairman Pai's plan in its tracks and ensure that net neutrality remains the law of the land".

"While it may be convenient for you to ignore this, given that it was done in an attempt to support your position, it can not be the case that the FCC moves forward on such a major public debate without properly investigating this known attack", they said in the letter addressed to Pai and David Bray, the FCC's Chief Information Officer. "We don't block or throttle consumer access to the internet, and we don't use consumer data". This proposal tears at the foundation of that openness. Some regulatory authority on consumer protection would shift to the Federal Trade Commission.

Of course, an internet service provider liked the proposal.

In a blog post, Comcast commended Pai's decision to release his order to the public three weeks before the scheduled vote on December 14.

"For larger companies like Google and Netflix, they can afford to pay these extra fees, they can afford to pay to get into the fast lanes", said Corynne McSherry, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC, as pretty much America's media ombudsmen, have outlaid their plans to scrap Net Neutrality suggesting that Obama's protective legislation "went too far".

Technology giants are expecting to lobby furiously against the FCC's plan, setting up a heavyweight fight between Silicon Valley giants and telecommunications conglomerates - two of the most well-heeled industries in the country. Pai served as an associate general counsel at Verizon for two years.

Prior to the rules, the internet economy was able to flourish free from regulation, Pai said.

In brief, removal of Net Neutrality only favour big business and many are deeply concerned (including ourselves at eTeknix) that we might be sleepwalking into it.

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