Tech companies ask FCC to keep net neutrality rules

Alfred Osborne
November 30, 2017

The FCC will vote on the proposal on December 14. The three Republican commissioners outnumber the two Democratic commissioners, and so the proposal to end net neutrality is nearly certain to pass.

The FCC is in talks to repeal the Net Neutrality regulations three weeks from today. The Restoring Internet Freedom order would classify broadband Internet access as an "information service" and affirm the need for a uniform federal regulatory approach to apply to interstate information services, like broadband Internet access. "An internet without net neutrality protections would be the opposite of the open market, with a few powerful cable and phone companies picking winners and losers instead of consumers".

"It's important because ISPs are integrated companies and often own their own content", says Christopher Terry, professor of media law at the University of Minnesota who supports net neutrality.

The regulations date back to 2005, but became official under the Obama administration in 2015.

More than 200 businesses and trade organizations, including Reddit, Twitter and Airbnb, have signed a letter to Pai asking his FCC to keep net neutrality. Large companies, like Google, Facebook and Amazon, have come out strongly opposed to changes and in support of net neutrality.

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In 2015, the FCC rules prohibiting internet service providers from offering faster speeds and access to specific websites and applications that are willing to pay more.

President Donald Trump and his Federal Communications Commission appointees have chose to put an end to net neutrality ("Keep net neutrality", November 20) FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon associate general counsel, wants Internet service providers (including Verizon, Comcast, Direct TV, etc.) to determine what information their customers can see browsing the Internet.

For example, your ISP could slow your video streaming on a competing service or website like Netflix or Hulu. There were a couple of telco signatories - Blue Sky Telecom and Burlington Telecom - but for the most part, TSPs and ISPs are happy to see the end of utility-style oversight, where broadband is considered a telecommunications service and regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

In a statement, Comcast said, "Comcast does not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content".

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