FCC chairman: New order will protect a free and open internet

Doris Richards
June 13, 2018

FCC chair, Ajit Pai says Net Neutrality prevented providers like Verizon or Comcast from expanding their networks.

"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication. "In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC-the nation's premier consumer protection agency- of its authority over internet service providers". Well, guess what: they've finally, actually killed net neutrality. These providers often serve rural and lower-income areas where better internet access and competition are most desperately needed. He insisted during an interview Monday on "CBS This Morning" that "consumers are going to be protected".

Pai also called the new course of action a "tremendous bipartisan success" and noted that the rules were "especially harmful for smaller internet service providers who didn't have the means to withstand a regulatory onslaught".

Net neutrality supporters, including the Silicon Valley group Internet Association, also say that even though the repeal took effect, they intend to continue fighting to restore the Obama-era rules.

"I don't think anything gets better for consumers", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission.

However, companies are likely to drop these self-imposed restrictions; they will just wait until people aren't paying a lot of attention, said Marc Martin, a former FCC staffer who is now chairman of communications practice at the law firm Perkins Coie. They're anxious the providers will charge consumers extra to reach particular sites and services in a speedy manner, either by directly billing them or by charging companies like Netflix, which could be expected to pass on the costs to their subscribers.

"It's patently illegal for the states to make their own internet policy", Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who served on President Trump's transition team for the FCC, told CNNMoney last month. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

"Most of us believe in a free, open, and available Internet and agree that it should remain that way". Dozens of other states are considering similar measures.

Several internet providers made public pledges that they would not block or throttle sites once the rules were repealed.

In 2015, the Title II Order reclassified the internet as a telecommunications service, which is regulated like a public utility. Meanwhile, web companies, 22 states and the District of Columbia are suing to overturn the December decision by the Republican-led U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Although the FCC's repeal takes effect Monday, it's not the end of the road for net neutrality. "We don't want to be blocked or throttled or have our online experience subject to the whims of an internet provider".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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