This Is How the FCC Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality


This Is How the FCC Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality

The full post isn't long, and isn't remotely technical. So far, it's clear that the Commission is stripping itself off the powers that enable it to keep ISPs in check in the name of more investments.

From there, the FCC would give the Federal Trade Commission additional oversight to then "protect consumers" from "unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices" that may crop up in the absence of regulation.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai and commissioners Michael O'Rielly, Brendan Carr, Mignon Clyburn, and Jessica Rosenworcel are the five officials who will determine whether the regulations will remain intact or not.

Cinnamon Rogers of the Telecommunications Industry Association, said the new policy would return to an approach that "has encouraged private sector innovation and investment in broadband infrastructure, and the development of high-tech communications equipment that allows the internet to thrive".

"Given the unknown needs of the networks of the future, it is our determination that the utility - style regulations potentially imposed by Title II run contrary to the public interest". Now who pays whom? Without safeguards, the range of choices that ultimately make their way onto the consumer and business landscape may be curtailed, a discouraging development that will affect everyone. The administration was haunted by the specter of ISPs blocking political content, accepting payments from big content providers like Netflix to prioritize their services (thus making it difficult-to-impossible for upstarts to compete), and otherwise turning the internet into a closed garden rather than the open frontier its architects envisioned.

Its how the Internet has always worked but if it goes away, telecommunications companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast can restrict or slow down your access to any websites for any variety of reasons. In such a market, it would be impossible for a user to simply switch to a better option.

Big telecom companies say they don't want the stricter regulation that comes with the net neutrality rules.

Yet, during the Obama administration, the liberal majority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chose to inflict the heavy hand of government regulation on Internet Service Providers. The FTC "has enforcement authority, not rulemaking authority", ex-Chairman Tom Wheeler had said earlier this year. And while the advocates for net neutrality stressed the benefits for competition among content providers, the critics asked what would happen to competition among ISPs, since heavy-handed regulation often acts as a barrier to entry for new startups, which can't afford to negotiate the regulatory apparatus. However, as The Verge notes, it doesn't say exactly who "would bring that suit against Comcast and bear the costs". The FTC? Groups of BitTorrent users? If we lose net neutrality, the Internet will never be the same'.

Equal treatment for all web traffic has been a fundamental principle of the internet since its creation but companies have increasingly put their thumb on the scales of access. Once the ISPs started to interfere with the applications and content, it became critical for the government to enforce actions that stopped such discriminatory conduct.

The Reddit community at large appears to be ringing alarm bells over Pai's move; the site's front page has been flooded with calls to organize against the plan and promote a more egalitarian internet. Every one of those efforts has been opposed by the corporations that consumers rely on to deliver the internet. However, all of this is going to change when these new rules get approved. It now says that over 7 million out of 21 million comments were "fake" and had reported a DDoS attack during the comment period. There is the possibility (seen as low) that the new proposal will be rejected and net neutrality in the United States will continue. The AG's office during its investigation contacted the FCC at least 9 times over 5 months but didn't receive any response from the Commission.

By a 3-2 margin last week (split along party lines), the FCC voted to consider placing a spending cap on the program, which will make it harder for those who qualify for subsidies to actually receive them.



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