Silicon Valley giants oppose FCC plan to repeal Net Neutrality

Ajit Pai: Restoring Internet Freedom Should Have Happed Long Time Ago

Federal Communications Commission to reveal plans for scrapping Obama-era net neutrality rules

"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet".

Washington, Nov 21 The top United States telecom regulator unveiled a formal plan today to roll back the "net neutrality" rules adopted in 2015 aimed at treating all online traffic equally.

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Jonathan Spalter, chief executive officer of the trade group USTelecom with member including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc., said in an emailed statement. They were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content.

Pai said he wants to return oversight of the internet to the FTC, which is the main consumer protection regulator and privacy watchdog in the US.

"Without net neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes", said the advocacy group Free Press.

Under the measure, internet service providers would have to inform customers about issues including blocking, Politico reported Monday. The plan includes reversing the rule that now treats broadband as a utility, removes protections that keep ISPs from blocking or slowing service and will shift some oversight power over to the FTC. "If Internet access providers can block some services and cut special deals that prioritize some companies' content over others, that would threaten the innovation that makes the Internet awesome".

A USA appeals court past year upheld the legality of the net neutrality regulations, which were challenged in a lawsuit led by telecommunications industry trade association US Telecom.

Pai, who has repeatedly rejected claims that the FCC is making rules changes with Sinclair in mind, said the review will include public input. Trump has abandoned global trade deals, the landmark Paris climate accord and environmental protections, taken aim at the Iran nuclear accord and closer relations with Cuba, and sought repeal Obama's signature healthcare law.

New proposed regulations are being circulated among the commission today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday.

Pai, who has moved quickly to undo numerous regulatory actions since becoming FCC chairman, is pushing a broad deregulatory agenda.

Language in the new proposal would give the FCC significantly less authority to oversee the web. Also expected to be jettisoned is an Internet conduct standard meant to prevent ISPs from unreasonable interference with consumer's access to destinations on the Net.

"The open internet uplifts the voices of people of color and racial-justice advocates, activists and dissenters of all stripes, independent content creators and journalists, and entrepreneurs".

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