Internet firms winding up for a fight on 'net neutrality'

Internet firms winding up for a fight on 'net neutrality'
Internet firms winding up for a fight on 'net neutrality'
Author

27 April, 2017

Under President Barack Obama, Pai was a fringe, frequently outvoted FCC commissioner who repeatedly echoing internet providers' claims that net neutrality would hamper the telecom industry, and argued that the FCC itself was grossly overstepping its bounds. "ACA and its members will again participate in the proceeding and will again produce evidence that utility-style regulation is not warranted and not needed for the FCC to ensure that customers of smaller ISPs have continued access to an Open Internet".

Supporters of the rules were anxious that "the internet would suddenly devolve into a digital dystopia of fast lanes and slow lanes", he said.

Sen. Markey said the idea of supporting an open internet but not supporting net neutrality is "like saying you value democracy but don't see a need for a constitution, or you like math but you don't like numbers". Clearly, this is opening up some new options for them.

"When I invented the web, I didn't have to ask anyone for permission, and neither did America's successful internet entrepreneurs when they started their businesses", said Web foundation founder Tim Berners-Lee.

The text of Pai's net neutrality proposal would be published tomorrow, as FCC chairman can't undo Title II classification immediately. "We don't block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content delivered over the Internet, and we are committed to continuing to manage our business and network with the goal of providing the best possible consumer experience", Roberts said in the statement.

AT&T follows the same template.

The FCC used the Internet conduct standard to launch investigations into ISP "zero rating" policies - policies that allow certain services to be streamed on an ISP's network without impacting a user's data cap. "So what happened after the Commission adopted Title II?" "But we don't believe public utility regulation is the right way to protect consumers".

He said the 2015 rules were unnecessary and have hurt broadband investment, a point contested by activists and companies that support net neutrality. And the investment numbers ticked up again the next year.

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But, Pai is confident of winning yet another battle for internet providers.

More potent tactics remain in reserve.

But while internet providers are happy, companies that are based on the internet aren't.

Blumenthal said jobs and economic progress - not just consumer convenience - is at stake if the FCC rules are changed. In a Wednesday speech, Pai will reportedly announce that he is scheduling a vote for the FCC's May 18 meeting to begin the process of repealing the rules. Americans want the Internet to remain a platform for all consumers, content creators, and innovators, regardless of their ability to pay infrastructure owners special fees for special access. Companies like Google and Facebook and Netflix became household names precisely because we didn't have the government micromanaging how the internet would operate. That's not great news for Title II advocates, since big web companies are some of the loudest voices on their side in the fight for net neutrality.

Pai positioned his proposals as a "plan to restore Internet Freedom" and said that the Obama administration's regulations prevented investment in broadband investment, and cost jobs.

Vimeo says Pai's argument relies on a "flawed notion" of free market competition in the broadband space. Given that Republicans have a two-to-one majority on the commission (including Pai), it will likely pass.

Net neutrality has been the source of an ongoing debate for years.

Update at 6:26PM ET, 4/26: Added comment from Vimeo.


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