Texomans react to net neutrality repeal

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 13, 2018

The FCC's repeal of all net neutrality protections has finally gone into effect after six months. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he wants to return to a "light-touch" regulatory framework for the internet and is kicking authority to police broadband companies over to the FTC. It also removes the ban that keeps a service provider from charging an internet service, like Netflix or YouTube, a fee for delivering its service faster to customers than competitors can. Nine in 10 American households use the internet, according to Pew Research Center, for everything from researching recipes, communicating with friends and family by marking themselves "safe" on Facebook or Googling symptoms of a medical issue to see whether a trip to the emergency room is needed.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight For the Future, in a statement Monday. ISPs will be under the scanner of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anti-competitive behavior. He insisted during an interview Monday on "CBS This Morning" that "consumers are going to be protected". "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 and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate", Pai said in a November 2017 proposal.

The new FCC regulations, officially voted on in December but which took effect today, open the door for internet providers to control or censor what content consumers can access online. We're still not creating fast lanes.

"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.

E-commerce startups have feared that they could end up on the losing end of paid prioritization, with their websites and services loading more slowly than those run by internet behemoths.

Twenty-nine states have since introduced legislation, proposing reinstating some aspects of Net Neutrality.

However James Mayer, who owns an IT company, agrees with Black.

Groups taking the FCC's side in the case include CTIA, representing mobile providers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc.; and NCTA - The Internet & Television Association, representing cable carriers such as Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. Dozens of other states are considering similar measures. Barbara Underwood, New York's attorney general, noted that lawsuits opposing the repeal were still pending.

Pai told CBS that he doesn't believe regulating the internet in the same way phone networks are regulated is the best way to achieve the goal of a "free and open" internet. "We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content". Rather, any changes are likely to happen slowly, and companies will try to make sure that consumers are on board with the moves, experts say.

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