FCC votes 2-1 to advance repeal of Obama-era internet rules

FCC votes 2-1 to advance repeal of Obama-era internet rules

FCC votes 2-1 to advance repeal of Obama-era internet rules

By a 2-1 vote, the commissioners have now triggered a months-long process that could ultimately lift the statutory underpinning for its "open internet" rules - net neutrality principles prohibiting ISPs from blocking, throttling and prioritizing traffic. Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Michael O'Rielly voted for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) looking to return classification of broadband service to that of a Title I information service.

"Make no mistake: The FCC just took a major step toward destroying the internet as we know it, putting the interests of a handful of giant corporations like Comcast and Verizon ahead of the American people", said Democratic Sen.

The FCC is now taking comments on its website so you can let it know where you stand on the issue of net neutrality.

As Common Dreams reported, FCC head Ajit Pai announced his plan to roll back net neutrality rules last month, after he met with telecommunications executives-earning accusations that Pai is acting as a "puppet" for the industry.

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"We've heard not a peep from Chairman Pai about what he intends to do about the failed electronic comment filing system and the numerous fake comments filed to the net neutrality docket", she said.

Some net-neutrality supporters have already started to push back against the repeal effort.

However, Silliman and other internet industry associations like Tech Freedom, the Developer's Alliance, and the Internet Innovation Alliance called on Congress to put an end to the see-sawing rules at the FCC.

Today's vote is not final.

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The other Republican on the FCC, which now has three members, supports Pai. More generally, the FCC will seek comment on the costs and benefits of the rate floor.

The rules now prohibit internet service providers from blocking websites, throttling connection speeds and engaging in backroom deals to create "fast lanes" for businesses that can afford it - and "slow lanes" for everyone else. And the FCC said its site was attacked the night of Oliver's first segment, making it hard to leave a comment. Many broadband companies view TV, film and online content as the answer: By buying up media firms, ISPs can create bigger bundles to sell to customers. But he does say that there has never been any evidence of a need for net neutrality protections. But it's not clear yet whether many voters are savvy enough, or motivated enough, to cast a ballot on net neutrality as a critical issue.

Gigi Sohn, distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and Counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, said: "Today the Trump FCC begins its dismantling of the internet rules that protect American consumers on behalf of the few huge companies that control their access to the internet". It probably will be challenged in federal court, just as the 2015 rules were.

"If you have an overwhelming record in favor of retaining these rules, it's something the FCC has to consider and something a court is going to look at, if you believe it will ultimately go to court", Sohn tells CNNTech.

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