Sci-tech

Vote kicks off battle over regulation of internet

Vote kicks off battle over regulation of internet

"The FCC is moving the conversation beyond the merits of net neutrality to how best to safeguard this universally embraced value with a modern, constructive policy framework", USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in an emailed statement. "What is now at stake is the ability of the FCC-the expert agency by law-to protect consumers on what is now one of the most critical inputs to the U.S. economy-broadband networks". The agency will take comments for 90 days and then typically takes another three to six months to move ahead with a final rule. The FCC twice tried to impose net-neutrality rules using Title I authority before the current rules were enacted in 2015, and it was defeated in court by ISP lawsuits on both occasions. It also calls for the elimination of the "internet conduct standard" included in the 2015 Title II order, and seeks comment on the existing rules governing ISPs' practices. "Instead, it would give broadband providers far more unconstrained power to manipulate internet traffic and customer behavior for profit", Ryan Clough, general counsel at Public Knowledge, comments in a statement. The FCC said after the episode aired that its site was hit by distributed-denial of service (DDoS) attacks; the Fight for the Future rights group said it's more likely that Oliver's segment inspired people to express their problems with the proposal.

When Republicans talk about restoring freedom to the internet, they don't mean freedom for consumers to equally read and view whatever they want. The tech industry, which sees net neutrality as necessary to innovation, is already pushing back by lobbying politicians, sending letters of protest to the agency and starting to rally supporters. There is hardly an internet-based company that hasn't come out in favor of the rules as they stand; over 800 startups and signed an open letter saying just that in April, and hundreds more have been added since.

Pai's move was cheered by major broadband providers who have celebrated the new FCC chairman's pledge to take a "weed whacker" to the net neutrality rules and replace them with "light touch" regulation. Thursday's proposal asked whether it's still necessary to bar internet providers from blocking or slowing down certain websites or apps, or from charging services like Netflix extra for access to consumers. It's the first step in the commission's rule making process - the document Pai is presenting is called a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or NPRM.

The other Republican on the FCC, which now has three members, supports Pai. Through the agency's action today, a free and open internet will be reinstated and economic growth will flourish.

"Today, we propose to repeal utility-style regulation of the Internet".

The FCC didn't respond to repeated requests to specifically say whether it would filter out the astroturfed comments. America's libraries collect, create, curate, and disseminate essential information to the public over the internet, and enable our users to build and distribute their own digital content and applications.

It was unclear, however, if the FCC acted too late to stop all rural phone bills from increasing this year.


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