Silicon Valley giants oppose FCC plan to repeal Net Neutrality

Reddit's home page was awash with red in protest over net neutrality.                  Screenshot by Claire Reilly  CNET

Reddit's home page was awash with red in protest over net neutrality. Screenshot by Claire Reilly CNET

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it plans to roll back regulations on internet service providers that govern how major companies distribute online access. He distributed his alternative plan to other FCC commissioners Tuesday in preparation for a December 14 vote on the proposal, and promised to release his entire proposal Wednesday.

Even worse, Pai plans to remove Title II classification of broadband internet access service providers. The net neutrality has been a topic that has created a heated debate between internet and telecom companies.

Pai's proposal reportedly does little to clarify what authority the FCC would have to protect the open internet going forward, leaving the transparency rules the agency might retain on shaky legal ground at best.

Chairman Pai had said earlier this year that the 2015 net neutrality rules were a burden to businesses and innovation.

With a Republican majority on the FCC, passage of the proposed rules is nearly certain.

Without net neutrality, internet providers could speed up their own shows they want you to watch. The proposal, which will be up for public view tomorrow, is largely expected to pass with the vote splitting along party lines. Pai, a Republican, was installed by President Donald Trump. For example, the Obama FCC said that "zero rating" practices by AT&T violated net neutrality.

Ajit Pai blasted the rules that were introduced by the Obama administration as "heavy-handed, utility-style".

Federal regulators unveiled a plan Tuesday that would give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use.

"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.

Instead, the FCC, under Pai's suggestion, would return to the "light-touch, market-based framework that unleashed the digital revolution and benefited consumers here and around the world", the chairman said in a statement.

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, a trade group with members including top US cable provider Comcast and No. 2 Charter Communications Inc., said it welcomed Pai's proposal. Or slow down shows from competitors like Netflix, Google or Amazon. In its latest proposal, the commission is ready to reduce its own powers that ensure that internet providers don't block or interfere with the web traffic. In the same way, numerous signature companies in Silicon Valley think the internet should be open to all on an equal basis.

"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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