FCC moves forward with plan to scrap net neutrality protections

Ajit Pai the chairman and lone Republican on the Federal Communications Commission in his office in Washington Aug. 16 2013. Pai is carrying forward a swift Republican attack on telecom rules in 2017. A rollback of Obama-era rules and other regulatory

How you use the internet and what you pay for speed and some say maybe even your favorite content - is up for debate again.

Big web companies like Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and others back net neutrality rules, saying they guarantee equal access to the internet.

Finally, the approved measure proposes the agency to eliminate the net neutrality rules - the rules that ban the blocking and slowing of websites, as well as forbid Internet provides from charging websites additional fees.

The headline on the May 6 news article "FCC chief typifies bureaucracy at work in Trump's Washington" gave away the focus.

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to move forward with Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to weaken net neutrality protections by ending "utility-style regulation" of the Internet.

"Chairman Pai and his colleagues at the FCC have demonstrated leadership by jump-starting the process of rolling back these so-called net neutrality rules", Needham said.

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In 2015, the FCC under President Barack Obama supported the Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act - meaning the FCC had the power to regulate the Internet.

"As long as there are protections in place to make sure there is not content based discrimination and to ensure people get Internet access, I think the free market and the new chairman have the better argument", Henry told us.

Making it worse, the ambiguity of the rules mean that providers end up going to the FCC for permission each time their service changes.

The public is invited to comment on the proposal.

According to Democrats and consumer advocates, weaker rules could allow internet service providers to abuse their position as gatekeepers between customers and the rest of the internet.