Tech

FCC chairman sets out to repeal 'net neutrality' rules

FCC chairman sets out to repeal 'net neutrality' rules”

The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on Chairman Chairman Ajit Pai's recommendation to loosen regulation on Internet service providers.

Republicans and internet service providers have said the rules adopted by a Democratic-run FCC gave the agency too much power over companies, including the possibility of rate regulation.

The move sets the stage for a crucial vote next month at the Federal Communications Commission that could reshape the entire digital ecosystem. Internet users also mocked up photos envisioning what the end of net neutrality might look like. It is expected to pass, with Republicans controlling three of the commission's five seats.

Under his proposal, he says "the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet". "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them".

"This proposal undoes almost two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans' ability to access the entire internet", Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of the Internet Association, said in a statement. Since President Trump appointed him as FCC chairman in January, Pai has made reversing the rules a key part of his deregulatory agenda. The dismantling of net neutrality rules is seen as a major shift from Obama-era policies created to treat all websites and content equally.

Thanks to the repeal of net neutrality, the average internet user is likely to see their broadband access become more expensive, with their browsing experience likely slowing.

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Pai's full proposal will be released on 22 November, a day before the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

"Strong net neutrality rules are vital to consumers' everyday lives and essential to preserving the internet as we know it today - an open marketplace where websites large and small compete on equal terms and where information and ideas move freely", said Jonathan Schwantes, the advocacy group's senior policy counsel.

Pai, who has repeatedly rejected claims that the FCC is making rules changes with Sinclair in mind, said the review will include public input.

The FCC will vote on the plan to repeal net neutrality on December 14, and with Republicans controlling three out of the commission's five seats, the vote is expected to pass.

"The administration is moving to destroy the openness and dynamism of the internet", Pelosi said in an email message. Should AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner be allowed to close, a repeal of the FCC's net neutrality rules could give the telecom giant greater power to flex its new content properties in different ways, according to some analysts.

"The FTC stands ready to protect broadband subscribers from anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts and practices just as we protect consumers in the rest of the Internet ecosystem", Ohlhausen said in a statement Tuesday.



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