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.

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One Comment

  1. In our current societies, the internet has inevitably become a platform of communication, entertainment, and an informational database. We have become so accustomed to our cyber-world; so invested into our monitor screens as if it powered our daily lives, that the web is arguably an atmosphere that individuals occupy incessantly. These Net Neutrality rules, have allowed individuals to have the freedom of internet access without the disruption of having to have a specific subscription plan or other package. These rules, have allowed for web based liberation, and without them we could potentially see a pool of monopolistic powerhouses that may be able to infringe on our current rights; the internet will not be nothing more than a medium of maximizing profit amid companies. Last year, the FCC had planned on repealing such net neutrality regulations that had been placed in 2015. These regulations had protected consumers from being exploited by their ISPs, Internet Service Providers, so that they would have free and equal access to all of the internet’s components. The reason why such a repeal would be beneficial to such companies and corporations could be easily explained in terms of the law of demand and supply. If a certain provider or service has a specific website or platform that their package guarantees, the demand for that ISP will certainly rise. With this increase in demand, companies now have the opportunity to raise the prices of their service and collect more revenue. But in terms of competition, this would make certain application services such as Netflix vulnerable to manipulation. Without such regulations the ISP could now decide whether or not to allow certain services on their provider networks, which would make companies vulnerable to pay more. For example, if Netflix was excluded from any provider, they would have to form a deal so that their own services would be on the certain ISP. For this reason, Netflix would have to pay an extra sum of money to the provider and in return this would make them raise their own prices to compensate for the loss. When they raise their own prices, this could potentially create a problem for their profit as it may fall with the rise in price. Besides this aspect of creating a manipulative battleground between application services, this repeal has also thought to infringe on certain first amendment rights and privileges. An individual has the right to publish an article on any website under certain jurisdiction. With this repeal, they could potentially be closed off from the public as if their thoughts were being oppressed into a single area of inattentive interest. In terms of journalism, this would additionally create a single source of news coverage. If an ISP prefers certain news sources over the other, the people who are subscribed to that provider could be victim to a biased source of media and information. This free internet that promotes the first amendment rights would now become a jail of preferred thought and biased opinion. Our web based freedoms are not the only things that may be infringed upon, our very innovative thoughts and access to public information will be subject to harassment.

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