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Get Ready for Slower Internet Speeds, Unless You Can Pay Higher Monthly Fees

Sen. John Thune - supports internet rules allowing discrimination
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota

The Federal Trade Commission is set to give internet service providers what they have been asking for – a roll-back of net neutrality rule that allows them to treat web traffic differently, depending on how much the user can afford to pay.



Ajit Pai, the Republican Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday the FCC will vote to roll back net neutrality rule put in place by the Obama administration.

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The Obama-era rule required internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same but Ajit called that “heavy-handed, utility-style regulation,” and declared his group will vote to overturn it.




“Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades,” Pai said. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet.”

‘This is a huge win for companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast who have been fighting for years to remove all restrictions forbidding them from throttling internet speeds for certain consumers or forcing companies to pay more to get into “internet fast lanes.”’

Pai said the Trump administration will simply require internet providers to “be transparent” about their services.

“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.”






Republicans hold the majority on the FCC and as a result the vote is expected to pass easily when it is taken during the commission’s Dec. 14 meeting.

Pai said he believes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should be policing internet service providers, not the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) although he did not elaborate on any actions he expects the FTC to take should any internet service provider fail to live up to expectations.

This is a huge win for companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast who have been fighting for years to remove all restrictions forbidding them from throttling internet speeds for certain consumers or forcing companies to pay more to get into “internet fast lanes.”

Net neutrality supporters say the move simply gives these companies the license to discriminate by blocking, favoring or slowing down certain internet content.

“Our Internet economy is the envy of the world because it is open to all,” Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel responded in a statement. “This proposal tears at the foundation of that openness. It hands broadband providers the power to decide what voices to amplify, which sites we can visit, what connections we can make, and what communities we create. It throttles access, stalls opportunity, and censors content.”




Internet providers are obviously elated by the news of the impending demolition of net neutrality rule.

“Today’s action will provide tremendous opportunity for American broadband consumers, no matter where they live,” said Jonathan Spalter, CEO of the trade group USTelecom. “The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades.”

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Republican lawmakers also joined the companies in applauding the move with South Dakota’s John Thune, the Chairman of Senate Commerce Committee calling the effort “an improvement” over the current law.

“The last administration’s approach of regulating the internet with depression era phone rules is deeply flawed,” said Sen. John Thune. “While I support Chairman Pai’s efforts as an improvement, I still strongly believe the only way to create long term certainty for the internet ecosystem is for Congress to pass a bipartisan law.”

 

 

Associate Editor, The Liberal Advocate News

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