Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Internet sites to protest Trump Admin's net neutrality plan

Internet sites to protest Trump Admin's net neutrality plan Internet sites to protest Trump Admin's net neutrality plan
Lora Ball | 13 December, 2017, 03:56

In practice, the removal of net neutrality rules means that United States broadband providers could be free to throttle internet speeds for customers trying to access websites and services that aren't their commercial partners, effectively creating "fast lanes" and "slow lanes".

A lot of the tech industry is not happy.

Tim Berners-Lee and Vinton Cerf, the founding fathers of the Internet, have written to the US Congress to save the Internet from the disastrous consequences of a proposed repeal of a Barack Obama era law on net neutrality that ensured level playing field for all content and every sort of data by ensuring stiff regulations for the Internet service providers (ISPs).

The letter calls for the vote, due to be held on 14 December, to be cancelled due to what the authors regard as a lack of transparency and a refusal to listen to critics of the plan.

"It is important to understand that the FCC's proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of internet technology", the open letter read.

"The Memorandum of Understanding will be a critical benefit for online consumers because it outlines the robust process by which the FCC and FTC will safeguard the public interest", said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

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The proposal scheduled for a vote Thursday would do away with rules prohibiting internet service providers from blocking any website, slowing down websites and charging sites for quicker loading times, or an "internet fast lane", Markey said.

The FCC has three Republican and two Democrat commissioners, so the move is all but certain to be approved on Thursday.

Donald Trump's FCC, headed by the former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, plans to break with convention, arguing that it is an unnecessary regulation that is preventing ISPs from making money to fund new broadband infrastructure - something the ISPs themselves have denied. ISPs would need to publicly disclose where they take such action with respect to the aforementioned practices, and the FCC has vowed to investigate ISPs disclosures to make sure they are being adhered to. Internet service providers will now have the unfettered ability to control the Internet. Advocacy groups have reacted furiously to Pai's proposal, which they say will give internet companies leeway in setting different standards for different content.

Internet giants Netflix, Facebook and Alphabet, as well as smaller companies AirBnb, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy and Twitter, had also urged the FCC to scrap the plan.

Sen. Schatz's office also did not respond to a request for comment, although a recent statement by the Hawaii lawmaker said the FCC chairman's plan would leave "the American people with fewer choices and less access".

Conversely, telcos welcomed the news, saying that the decision will put the reins of innovation back in the hands of private investors without being hampered by excessive government oversight.

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