Tech

Attack On Net Neutrality Begins, FCC Head Announces Plan Against Open Internet

By Edge Ison , Apr 27, 2017 05:02 AM EDT
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In a controversial move that everyone expected, Federal Communications Commission chairman and Trump appointee Ajit Pai announced that he is planning to eliminate Title II net neutrality rules. If the chairman's plans fall into place, the commission will lose or at least greatly limit the regulatory control over internet service providers or ISPs.

As CNN reported, Pai's announcement was met with criticisms from different walks of life. Politicians in favor of open internet are voicing their opinions. Senator Patty Murray called Pai's move as "shameful" and explained that the "idea underlying net neutrality is a simple one: the internet should be free and open". A group of Democratic senators held a press conference before Pai's speech where they made it known that they will "fight any rollback of the rules".

Companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google have also shown support for net neutrality. In fact, the three major businesses are part of a trade group called the Internet Association which previously had a meeting with Pai early this April to discuss the importance of the regulation. USA Today noted that Apple is also a supporter of net neutrality rules. The tech giant is one with those who argue that consumers are already paying for connectivity so it is just right that they get a quality experience.

Small businesses will be greatly affected by the killing of the regulation which led over 800 startups to ask the FCC chair to leave net neutrality alone. Even the common folks are flooding social media with concerns over Pai's proposal.

Net neutrality is a set of rules approved during the Obama administration and Tom Wheeler's chairmanship back in 2015. Its goal was for everyone to have equal opportunities to access content such as streaming video and music, via the internet. Under the rules, internet service providers or ISPs are disallowed to favor any specific source by blocking or slowing down others. It also prevents these ISPs from charging content providers for faster access to the internet so that their content can be delivered faster o their consumers.

The current FCC chairman was one of two Republican commissioners along with Michael O'Reilly who voted against the regulation back in 2015 while Wheeler and fellow Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor for net neutrality. As reported before, Pai is against Title II but is open to having free internet that is governed by a "more voluntary" set of rules. Pai's proposal will mainly benefit broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. These are just three of the over two dozen ISPs against net neutrality. Pai's proposal will mainly benefit broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. These are just three of the over two dozen ISPs against net neutrality.

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