FCC approves 'Restoring Internet Freedom' proposal
19 May, 2017, 21:56
Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, members of the federal agency voted 2-1 to pass the proposal to roll back the Obama government's 2015-decision that was created to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) more heavily, with the help of some of the same rules that apply to phone companies.
eBay said Internet Service Providers could steer traffic to preferred websites if the federal government reverses its policies around net neutrality. They aren't allowed to, for instance, slow access on certain websites or apps over paid prioritization.
The agency voted 2-1 to move forward with the plan, starting a public comment period that must occur before the FCC can move forward with the repeal. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued the current rules represented a "bureaucratic straitjacket" on the industry.
Francis Ford Coppola, director of classic films such as "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now", has sent a letter to the top US telecommunications regulator to urge support for "net neutrality", which prevents internet companies from blocking, throttling or giving "fast lanes" to particular websites. "Except that here, there was no flea". He has also proposed to stop treating wireless carriers the same as cable providers. Internet-enabled small businesses would be among those hit hardest.
The dissenting Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, "vociferously" opposed Pai's proposal, calling it "no-touch" rather than light-touch.
"If you unequivocally trust that your broadband provider will always put the public interest, over their self-interest or the interest of their stockholders, then the "Destroying Internet Freedom" NPRM is for you".
The process of eliminating net neutrality is officially underway. HBO late-night host John Oliver has driven much attention to the issue.
While Pai and other net neutrality opponents argue that the regulations harm infrastructure investment, a report this month from opposing advocacy group Free Press stated that by ISPs own admission, the Title II classification has had no measurable impact on their investments since it was introduced in 2015. "They are now gearing up for a grassroots battle similar to the kind that defeated the House Republican health care plan".