Net Neutrality Can Still Be Saved

12 June, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Net neutrality ends this Monday June 11th motion to keep it alive could die in the House

Officially, the repeal of the 2015 net neutrality protections ― a repeal that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump pick, had pushed for ― will take effect. "The consumer is going to be protected and we preserve the incentive for companies to build out better, faster, and cheaper internet access".

Pai says that by deregulating the internet service provider industry, there will now be "strong consumer protections" and that "entrepreneurs [will get] the information they need as they develop new products and services".

The FCC's approval of those rules was the result of a decadelong fight on behalf of the public - and against the forces of special interests that spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lawyers, public relations firms, lobbyists and campaign contributions in their quest to take over the internet. It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August.

Pai, who is a former attorney for Verizon, doubled down on his stance that repealing net neutrality rules was the right call. State governments are also taking action with more than half of the states exploring their own Net Neutrality legislation. In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access. As part of this effort, more than 16.5 million pro-net neutrality emails have been sent to Congress. Violations of their promises - or behaviors that threaten competition or consumers - now fall under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission, not the telecom-focused FCC. Some states, like New Jersey, Washington, and California, have been actively working on state laws that would keep net neutrality alive within their jurisdictions. Senate Democrats forced a vote to restore net neutrality through the Congressional Review Act in May. Pai, a Republican, who voted against the 2015 rules enacted under an Obama-era FCC, was appointed chairman by President Trump in January 2017.

But both of these approaches are expected to lead to court challenges by the FCC, whose new policy on net neutrality contains explicit language that tries to preempt states from doing exactly what the legislation and executive orders are meant to do.

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"The American people know they can not trust their internet service providers to do the right thing and protect a free and open internet unless there are strict rules in place", Sen.

"We'll see what happens after the [midterm] election", Lewis says. This is how the term "net neutrality" was coined - the idea was that every bit is the same and that ISPs can't charge differentiated prices based on different types of services.

"It is a period of profound change", said Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of Pai's chief critics, "and we are also watching a lot of the big get even bigger".

For anyone who hasn't been following, net neutrality is the concept of treating all internet traffic the same, no matter where it originates from.

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