Friday, 15 December, 2017

FCC looks to do away with 'net neutrality'

039;Battle for the net' gains momentum as millions fight to stop huge internet change Millions are joining forces to fight for net neutrality
Juana Turner | 23 November, 2017, 00:27

The main difference from existing policy in Pai's proposed order is that broadband internet access would be classified under Title I of the Communications Act, reversing the 2015 ruling which classified broadband providers under Title II - basically, calling ISPs "information services" instead of "public utilities". Whether you visit social media or stream videos, your data will be transferred at the same speed as such, opponents of Net Neutrality suggest that specific aspects of the internet should be based on a preferential service.

On Tuesday, Pai unveiled his plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections meant to ensure that all content online is treated the same.

Under the current net neutrality rules, approved in 2015, internet providers like Comcast and AT&T are barred from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.

The proposal also adds the fact that consumer protections aren't necessary needed because Federal Trade Commission will now have the authority oversight of ISPs.

Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission. We will do everything within our power to keep the internet open and accessible for all. Schneiderman said his office has reached out to the FCC to aid in the investigation, but has been ignored.

The FCC chairman is expected to announce new rules which would end net neutrality. It would also allow FCC to return to policing the ISPs, protecting consumers, and promoting competition.

Read the entire draft order here.

On Tuesday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., praised Pai's effort but renewed his call for a bipartisan compromise on net neutrality, saying it was the only way to "create long-term certainty for the internet ecosystem". Without paying this service, you can still access the, but your ISP will relegate or throttle your bandwidth. Pai opened a public-comment period earlier this year, and this week scheduled a vote for December 12.

The issue of net neutrality has elicited strong views from companies and their in-house counsel in recent years. On the other side, companies such as Google parent Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon and video streaming player Netflix Inc were among the big corporations that had petitioned Pai to not scrap the rules. Some fear it could lead to a a tiered internet, where users have to pay for the specific kinds of content they use.

"This investigation isn't about the substantive issues concerning net neutrality", said Schneiderman, who noted that he is in favor of preserving it. They are planning to organize protests outside the company's stores across the country.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said Pai's proposal is "dangerous and wrong. I urge the FCC to listen to the voices of more than 22 million public comments, including 61,707 from Hawai'i, on net neutrality and reject this corporate attack on equality".

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.

Mignon Clyburn Federal Communications Commission members Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel join hands with then-Chairman Tom Wheeler before voting for net neutrality rules in 2015.

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