FCC votes to start net neutrality rollback

Ivan Schwartz
May 20, 2017

Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, members of the federal agency voted 2-1 to pass the proposal to roll back the Obama government's 2015-decision that was created to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) more heavily, with the help of some of the same rules that apply to phone companies.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of classic films such as "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now", has sent a letter to the top USA telecommunications regulator to urge support for "net neutrality", which prevents internet companies from blocking, throttling or giving "fast lanes" to particular websites.

According to the FCC's lone Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, the decision to revisit the rules was merely the latest in a broader effort by Republicans to undercut its own mission.

Asked what the FCC was doing about net neutrality comments issues and improving the site, Pai said following Thursday's meeting that FCC IT people were on it.

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ISPs claim that softening the rules will help them to continue upgrading their networks and find new ways of making money.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 to reverse the policy enacted two years earlier and which has been a subject of litigation for a decade. The 2015 decision regulated internet providers more heavily, using some of the same rules the agency applied to phone companies. The majority of public filings submitted to the FCC's website support keeping net neutrality rules, according to Fortune. The vote doesn't end net neutrality today, but it does pave the way for that to happen three months from now.

Pai said the goal was "to return to the light-touch regulatory framework" that had allowed the internet to flourish.

Other reports by GizPress

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