FCC chair promises consumers will be protected after net neutrality repeal

In the days of net neutrality, internet service providers were not allowed to block access to any website - unless that website was in breach of the law.

The new internet rules came into effect on Monday in the USA after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the 2015 Obama administration's much publicised net neutrality rules in December by a 3-2 vote. Telecom companies have long supported a rollback of regulations.

In an opinion piece published on CNET, Mr Pai in the many years of net growth before the neutrality rules "Facebook, Amazon, and Google went from small start-ups to global tech giants".

But net neutrality remains alive and well in Washington, thanks to a bi-partisan bill that was signed into law earlier this year. "But then in 2015, the FCC chose a different course". Now Comcast Cable president Dave Watson posted a blog post today to reconfirm Comcast's "committed to an open internet".

The agency said the regulations were unnecessary and unhelpful, but critics counter that internet service providers will now have too much control over the flow of online content.

He wrote that the biggest USA internet companies - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft - controlled much of the online infrastructure, from app stores to operating systems to cloud storage to almost all of the online ad business. Twenty-three attorneys general, along with various technology associations, consumer watchdogs and companies including Mozilla, are now suing to reinstate the former rules.

"I don't believe them when they say they're not going to do anything and they're going to honor net neutrality", Rep. Any change to how it's regulated is a hot button issue. We had Chairman Ajit Pai on to talk about what will change, how he measures success and what happens if his vision for an open internet doesn't work. "So issues that are coming up right now, people are seeing from a very personal perspective". Under the new policy, a violation might occur when regulators find out that an Internet provider has been blocking websites without saying so.

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"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says. The FCC also eliminated a rule barring providers from prioritizing their own content. The repeal takes effect Monday.

But consumer advocacy groups have been less than optimistic.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said the agency under Obama overstepped its authority when it imposed the 2015 regulations. "This gives free reign to broadband providers to block or throttle your broadband service as long as they inform you of it". Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality, including Mozilla and Vimeo.

Expect to see more offers like AT&T's exemption of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service from customers' mobile data limits.

The reality is that what no one knows exactly what the internet will look like moving forward without net neutrality in place. That means it fell under "common carrier" rules established to protect equal access to the service.

Is there a chance the repeal is, well, repealed?

To start, activists today will rally to gather support for an effort to use the Congressional Review act to reverse the FCC's repeal with a majority vote in the House and Senate.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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