Monday, 24 September, 2018


Net neutrality rollback enacted

BackyardProduction  Getty Images BackyardProduction Getty Images
Melba Vasquez | 13 June, 2018, 22:54

"It is incumbent on the House of Representatives to listen to the voices of consumers, including the millions of Americans who supported the FCC's 2015 net neutrality order, and keep the internet free and open for all", they said in a letter Thursday. "They are not concerned that Internet service providers are going to block access to lawful content".

If the broadband providers do end up creating fast lanes - or even slowing or blocking traffic - they likely won't do so right away.

What's Everyone so Worried About? "Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by Internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected".

Some small-business owners are anxious, too, that industry giants could pay to get an edge and leave them on an unfair playing field. Are you saying they want to more explicitly offer bundles that include preferred services? Remote workers of all kinds, including freelancers and franchisees in the so-called gig economy, could similarly face higher costs to do their jobs from home. After control of the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed hands following the 2016 election, the agency's new chairman, Ajit Pai, started dismantling net neutrality regulations, arguing they were overly restrictive. Politicians on the local and federal levels are working to reinstate the net neutrality rules.

Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending. The new rules are, effectively, the absence of old rules: starting today, internet service providers (ISPs) can do a few big things they were previously not allowed to do.

Enacted in 2015, the rules sought to stop providers giving preferential treatment to sites and services that paid them to accelerate their data. "President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the internet. Network investment topped $1.5 trillion", he wrote. And as we've seen with the Netflix-Comcast dispute, these carriers can meddle with traffic, slow it down, throttle it and do so in surreptitious ways that are not easily identifiable, not [easy to] establish who's to blame. In January, attorneys general in 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a protective petition for review of the order.

But a battle for votes in the House remains. Ed Markey of MA wrote on Twitter.

Still, others cheered the rollback.

"Today, the Trump Administration has set into motion the destruction of the free and open Internet", she claimed. He spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what internet providers wanted to do that they couldn't under the old rules.

Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.

The Internet Association said Monday that the "internet industry remains committed to restoring net neutrality protections through the courts, legislation, and administrative action". Siding with AT&T might clear the way for more consolidation, while siding with the government could cause telecom giants to think twice about buying companies in new lines of business.

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