Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Could 'Nice Guy' Ajit Pai Help Destroy Net Neutrality?

Ron Wyden said last week that a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission — now led by an appointee of President Donald Trump — will end the principle of internet service providers treating all data the same no Why We're Joining the 'Day of Action' in Support of an Open Internet - AT&T Public Policy - AT&T Public Policy Blog
Juana Turner | 13 July, 2017, 00:38

Whether you're trying to buy a necklace on Etsy, stream a series on Netflix, or upload a photo to Facebook, your internet service provider has to load all of those websites equally quickly.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and dozens of other major technology companies are participating in an online protest on Wednesday to oppose proposed changes to USA net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others. Without these mandates, websites could put a chokehold on downloading and streaming content speeds for some users and not others - likely the ones willing to whip out the credit cards. Some will simply slow down in order to demonstrate how stripping away the protections of net neutrality could affect us, while others will display a message pertaining to their protest.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat who voted in favor of the 2015 rules, reiterated her support for them on Wednesday.

"The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online", the organizers of the Battle for the Net Project state on its website.

It's not often that a huge list of tech giants get together to speak with one voice, and it's even more remarkable when they are protesting legislation which could actually benefit them, but that's what's happening today. Without net neutrality, the internet could get a lot more expensive.

Net Neutrality is in the news today as websites and companies take part in the "Day of Action".

"If ISPs (internet service providers) had charged for preferred treatment when Drew and Arash founded Dropbox in 2007, we might never have gotten off the ground", added Dropbox's general counsel Bart Volkmer, referring to its founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi.

Under federal law, the FTC lost much of its oversight of broadband providers when the FCC adopted its net neutrality policy, because the FCC rules reclassified broadband providers as common carriers subject to the agency's oversight.

Karr said that internet users have taken "hundreds of thousands of actions", like contacting the FCC. "Net neutrality is foundational to competitive, free enterprise, entrepreneurial market entry - and reaching global customers".

Current companies supporting the protest include Amazon, Reddit, Netflix and Twitter. "Existing net neutrality rules should be enforced and kept intact".

This was "all about politics" said Mr Pai before arguing that the increased regulatory burden was reducing investment in broadband infrastructure.

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing through a proposal to kill the Obama-era regulations, and it appears unlikely the grassroots backlash will slow him down.

But internet companies have been vocal in their opposition to Pai's plans. Title II is not net neutrality.


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