F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Victory for Telecoms

by Celilia Kang, from the New York Times (archived article to get around paywall)

The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.

The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.

The announcement set off a fight over free speech and the control of the internet, pitting telecom titans like AT&T and Verizon against internet giants like Google and Amazon. The companies warned that rolling back the rules could make the telecom companies powerful gatekeepers to information and entertainment. The telecom companies say that the existing rules prevent them from offering customers a wider selection of services at higher and lower price points.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Mr. Pai said in a statement. “Instead, the F.C.C. 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.”

Mr. Pai, a Republican who has pursued an aggressive deregulation agenda, was widely expected to have his plan approved during a meeting on Dec. 14. The two other Republicans on the commission generally vote with Mr. Pai, giving them a majority over the two Democrats…

[read more here]

3 Responses

  1. The internet, including mobile, should be a public utility, period. Needless to say, you can’t have that under neo-liberal deregulation of everything. In my area, the choice is between Comcast and CenturyLink, both of them equally bad. My bill via Comcast, and this is just for basic internet service and basic tv, has gone up by 30% just last year with nothing added, period. Without basic TV, just the highspeed internet connection cost the same as with basic TV, and I don’t even watch TV.

    All this BS talk about market competition is exactly the opposite: you don’t have a market when you have two monopolies with no other choices, and each of them equally shitty. My bill is now $ 126.00 per month while my salary has actually decreased in real dollars (not even taking into account inflation) during the last 7 years. My rent has increased 15% last year alone, not to mention food prices. The number of homeless has exploded in our city while Silicon Valley types are moving here because they can’t afford to live in California anymore, and this with salaries at $ 100,000k or above. So, yes, we are moving towards third world conditions in terms of inequality, because the entire middle class is being wiped out, while the truly desperate poor get next to nothing.
    Well, I don’t have to tell you this Scott. The link you posted to the article in Washington Post about disability is truly sickening, and just the tip of the iceberg.

    • I agree. I think the internet should be regulated as a public utility. What is about to happen here will take a little time. There will be lawsuits filed immediately after they vote on this thing but in the end we will get what other “free” countries have and the age of the open and free internet will disappear down the rabbit hole like our personal freedoms, rights to privacy and a whole host of other constitutional protections we once enjoyed. Like the American Dream I guess. Sorry to hear about what is happening to you. But you are certainly not alone. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

      • Thanks, Scott, I wish you and your mom a good Thanksgiving, too. What you have gone through with your disability claim angers me to no end… your situation is much worse than mine.

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