AT&T, Comcast win as Trump FCC urges end of Obama web rules

FCC chair unveils plan to repeal net neutrality

Washington, Nov 21 The top USA telecom regulator unveiled a formal plan today to roll back the "net neutrality" rules adopted in 2015 aimed at treating all online traffic equally.

The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on Chairman Chairman Ajit Pai's recommendation to loosen regulation on Internet service providers.

The decision will be put to a vote at the agency's December 14 meeting in Washington.

A repeal of the rules is a big victory for cable and internet providers - and has been opposed by many tech companies and internet advocacy groups.

Pai's proposal would require internet service providers to disclose whether they allow blocking or slowing down of consumer web access or permit so-called internet fast lanes to facilitate a practice called paid prioritization of charging for certain content.

Chairman Pai had said earlier this year that the 2015 net neutrality rules were a burden to businesses and innovation. The dismantling of net neutrality rules is seen as a major shift from Obama-era policies created to treat all websites and content equally. The proposed rollback of Net Neutrality rules makes no sense. They were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content. Pai, a Republican, was installed by President Donald Trump.

That's because the FCC is made up of three Republican and two Democratic commissioners.

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"The job of the FCC is to represent the consumer".

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Jonathan Spalter, chief executive officer of the trade group USTelecom with member including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc., said in an emailed statement.

Federal regulators unveiled a plan Tuesday that would give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use.

Google condemned the move, saying, "The FCC's net neutrality rules are working well for consumers and we're disappointed in the proposal released today". Free Press has shown time and again that Title II is the best and only foundation in present law for Net Neutrality rules; it also gives the FCC the authority to enforce other rules related to broadband affordability, privacy and competition.

Instead, the FCC, under Pai's suggestion, would return to the "light-touch, market-based framework that unleashed the digital revolution and benefited consumers here and around the world", the chairman said in a statement.

"This move would likely lead to consumers paying higher prices for the internet access and speeds they have today", Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union, said in an emailed message.

"The administration is moving to destroy the openness and dynamism of the internet", Pelosi said in an email message.

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