FCC Plans To Gut Net Neutrality, Allow Internet ‘Fast Lanes’

from Wired

THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Commission will publish on Wednesday its plan to reverse Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned internet service providers from blocking or slowing down content, or creating so-called “fast lanes” for companies willing to pay extra to deliver their content more quickly.

The new FCC order will throw out almost all of the agency’s 2015 net-neutrality rules, including the prohibitions on blocking and throttling content, senior FCC staff said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. The order will also ban states from imposing their own net-neutrality rules to replace the federal regulations.

The order also reverses the decision to classify both mobile and home broadband internet services as “common carriers” like telephone services. That change will allow the Federal Trade Commission to enforce antitrust laws against broadband providers should they engage in anticompetitive behavior. The order will also require broadband providers to publicly disclose if they block or slow content, or accept payments from companies for preferential treatment.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

More here.

, , , ,

2 Responses to FCC Plans To Gut Net Neutrality, Allow Internet ‘Fast Lanes’

  1. Erik Peterson December 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    As someone uses the internet each and every day, I find this situation concerning net neutrality to be really appalling. Quite often, I tend to side with GOP ideologies, but in this situation, I don’t know what they’re thinking. Net neutrality is very important to us as consumers because without it, internet service providers will be able to force the customers to pay for better service. I really think that this model is not good, because people who use the internet the most (18-29 years old) are also those with the least financial stability. This means that the largest group of people who use the internet, for the most part, will only be able to afford the worst speed packages. Although i can understand where the FCC representatives are coming from on their reasoning, I still think that overall, getting rid of net neutrality hurts the everyday consumer. The FCC wants to give more power to corporations, ultimately letting them decide whose content they want to show, and whose they want to limit. However, I can foresee this causing even more issues down the road. If net neutrality ceases to exist, I think that a lot of ISP will become semi-subscription based. Let’s say your internet provider is Comcast in 5 years. Comcast has made deals with Amazon, Twitch.tv, and Wal Mart, meaning that the websites connected to each of those companies run just like normal, at a fast speed. If you wanted to watch something on Netflix or Hulu, Comcast would intentionally slow your connection speeds to those sites, unless you paid a fee. From a company standpoint, this is amazing because you can generate a lot more revenue from companies with whom you don’t have agreements with, while advertising for companies that you do have agreements with. From a consumer standpoint, this is absolutely horrible, because you would have to pay even more money to access certain sites, on top of whatever monthly subscriptions that you might pay.
    All in all, I think that it is vital to us as consumers to do whatever we can to save net neutrality in the future, even if the FCC decides to “gut it” at the upcoming meeting on December 14th. A couple of weeks ago,I saw posts on every single page that I visited on the internet that said to save net neutrality. This is not a joke. It is really important that we iron out all of the big issues that concern digital platforms and the internet as soon as possible, or else us as a group of consumers will end up paying for it for the rest of our lives. There are several petitions online that already have more than one million signatures on them, urging the FCC and congress to protect our rights. Hopefully, the FCC decides to listen to the people (the people who also have the power to vote them out, by the way), and save net neutrality for everybody.

  2. Greg D'Ottavi December 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

    The internet has become the largest platform of communication and media for millions of people around the world. In the last 20 years, the Internet has grown astronomically and caused a boom of technological advances. Personally, I am an avid user of the internet throughout every day and I know I am a part of a much larger percentage that does as well. Right now, the services and companies that have become billion dollar tech giants offer their products for free at the same rate depending on how much an individual pays for internet service. Essentially, net neutrality prevents these internet service providers from forcing consumers to pay for higher quality service. For instance, without net neutrality, if I were to pay my monthly subscription of Netflix and watch it daily, I would have to buy in addition, a higher quality internet plan if I wanted it to run fast and work efficiently. Net neutrality is a vital part of so many internet consumers’ lives and it has not been mentioned or discussed until recently when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided it wanted to destroy it.
    In my opinion, this is not something that should go unnoticed and become reality. Net neutrality is the reason why the internet has been able to flourish the way it has in recent years. So many companies have become a part of the internet community because of the vast number of consumers who use it on a daily basis. With that said, if corporations are going to begin charging more for better service, then many people are going to be out of luck on this expense. It does not make sense to me why the FCC would want to give more power and control to the internet service providers who already make substantial amounts of money. Their reasoning behind this proposal according to the article is, “the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.” Essentially, the FCC wants to limit undercover activity that these corporations may already be doing and attempt to better the consumer. In reality, this would only allow internet providers to force consumers into buying the most expensive plan while they name the price. In order for consumers to have any internet service work at the same caliber they have been used to for the past few years, they will pay mounds of additional charges.
    Overall, I believe net neutrality needs to stay for the betterment of the entire internet community. As someone who cannot personally afford to be making any extra expenses so that my Netflix movie does not have to buffer, I believe in net neutrality. There are already millions of people signing petitions and making a movement to protect net neutrality. My hopes are that the FCC does not get their proposal passed based on the amount of people who are voicing their opinions against it. Only time will tell whether or not the world wide web is going to change forever, but for the sake of the consumer I hope it does not.

Leave a Reply