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Net Neutrality's Death Official As FCC Votes To Overturn It

By Edge Ison , May 19, 2017 08:19 AM EDT
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Net Neutrality rules are dead or at least will be really, really soon. The Federal Communications Commission or FCC headed by staunch net neutrality critic Ajit Pai, has just voted to end the controversial ruling on Thursday.

The voting ended 2-1 in favor of trashing the net neutrality rules. As expected, the Republican commissioners voted to ditch the ruling which was enacted upon during the administration of former U.S. President Barrack Obama. The only vote against the overturning came from Mignon Clybum, a Democratic member of the commission. Clybum was not alone in fighting for the net neutrality rules, however, as a group of protesters stood just outside the FCC offices to fight for the right to open the internet.

The Donald Trump-appointee was still a commissioner of the FCC when he first expressed his disfavor for the ruling. Pai plans to replace the net neutrality rules with what he calls the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal. Under the proposal, legal underpinnings of the net neutrality rules will be abolished allowing ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to slow down or block websites and other online services of their choosing. According to Fortune, Pai's proposal also prevents the FCC from investigating these broadband carriers regarding the said issue.

The Consumer Affairs quoted Free Press president Craig Aaron saying that "Pai pretends to care about open internet, but his unworkable proposal takes away the rights of internet users". Aaron went on to accuse Pai of spreading lies or what is now known as alternative facts regarding the broadband industry and open internet. He also stressed that the FCC chairman's intention is clearly to "destroy the internet as we know it".

The net neutrality rules have been under attack by Pai and his backers as well as a number of internet service providers or ISPs. Pai has already succeeded in the first step towards the elimination of the net neutrality rules. The FCC will now gather feedback as it creates a more solid plan based on Pai's proposal. Though it is still final, it is clear that the end of the ruling is inevitable.

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