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Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Local business owner fears effects of net neutrality repeal

Local business owner fears effects of net neutrality repeal

The FCC order that just took effect asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

The proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift what chairman Ajit Pai described as "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" on broadband internet service providers (ISPs) was first mooted late a year ago. Many Internet providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, have said they do not and will not block or slow content. Comcast has also said it does not block or slow content and has no plans to offer paid prioritization.

Pai says that by deregulating the internet service provider industry, there will now be "strong consumer protections" and that "entrepreneurs [will get] the information they need as they develop new products and services". FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has little reason to celebrate as critics are closely monitoring ISPs and other internet companies to see if they pull any stunts and abuse the laws for corporate benefits. The second concern for users is the bundling of services.

Many consumer advocates argued that once the rules were scrapped, broadband providers would begin selling the internet in bundles, not unlike cable television packages.

Pai says Internet service will become cheaper and faster with the rules now gone. Those programs allow consumers to access certain sites and services without the data to and from them applying to any monthly caps they may have. It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August.

But the Republican-led House, and President Trump, are both thought to be unlikely to back the Senate's measure.

"I am committed to protecting a free and open internet, while at the same time making sure there are reasonable standards to protect against unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices such as blocking and throttling".

The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) was successful in repealing the net neutrality rules that the previous FCC leadership passed in 2015.

Pai claimed in a CNET op-ed that the repeal preserves the Internet as "an open platform where you are free to go where you want" and that it "will protect consumers and promote better, faster Internet access and more competition". It corresponds closely to the previous federal rule, barring ISPs from blocking or throttling the bandwidth on any legal content, service, app, or device, subject to reasonable network management.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who voted against the repeal, said Monday that the decision put the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public".

Those last two should stick out to you, as they have been key points in the debates surrounding net neutrality rules.

The FCC is nearly certain to challenge Washington as the agency asserted preemption, in which federal laws have precedent over state ones.

On May 16, the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority, voted 52 to 47 to overturn the decision by the FCC - which is now composed of three Republicans and Rosenworcel.

While it's unclear what the repeal will look like for consumers in the United States, advocacy group Free Press has cited numerous examples of behaviors pre-dating net neutrality laws in advocating against the repeal.

As of Monday morning, net neutrality no longer exists.

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