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Proposed Regulations
Proposed on April 26, 2017

Update: December 14, 2017

On December 14, 2017, the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in an expected party – line 3 – 2 split vote to reverse 2015 rules barring Internet service providers from throttling Internet traffic and offering faster separate Internet lanes at a higher price. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote a blistering dissenting statement explaining her vote and why consumers would end up losers as a result of this vote. While this vote is disappointing, Congress has now chimed in and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is looking into reviewing the agency decision by having Congress vote to nullify the action, as Congress is empowered to do. A group of state attorney generals, including Eric Schneiderman of New York, have vowed to sue to prevent the rules from being repealed while other states, including California which is home to the tech industry in Silicon Valley, have indicated they may implement their own net neutrality rules in their own states. It was a disappointing vote at the FCC but one where a long protracted battle now looms. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Update: November 22, 2017

On November 22, 2017, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its plans that are aimed to throw out nearly all of the “net neutrality” regulations that were approved in 2015. With a Republican majority of commissioners on the five-person panel, the plans are likely to be approved. This is incredibly disappointing considering that the 2015 regulations prohibited Internet service providers from favoring certain online content over others. That will no longer be the case under the FCC’s new proposals. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated that his new plan would prohibit the “federal government from micromanaging the internet.” However, his fellow commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has called the new plans a way to “favor cable and telephone companies” instead of ordinary citizens who use the internet every day. A vote to implement the new plans by the five-member panel of commissioners is now scheduled for December 14, 2017. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Policy Summary

On April 26, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a vote scheduled for May 2017 to decide whether to overturn FCC rules adopted on February 26, 2015, more commonly known as Net Neutrality regulations. The regulations established that broadband providers may not use their networks to [1] block access to legal content, applications or services, [2] impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications or services (known as “throttling”) and [3] favor some lawful Internet traffic over others based on amounts of monies paid (known as “paid prioritization”). The regulations were originally implemented in order to ensure an Open Internet. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Analysis

Chairman Pai’s scheduling of the vote has created a ferocious uproar. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit organization, released a statement criticizing the proposal, stating that there would be no option to prevent providers from “abusive blocking, privacy violations, throttling of Internet content and [the rise] of pay – to – play fast lanes.” Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also chimed in, warning that without the current rules the Internet would become a place favoring those with the deepest pockets, and not necessarily the best ideas. Chairman Pai’s proposal is a troubling move because it gives the service providers the potential to have ultimate control over, and maybe even censor, content and websites that consumers want to view online in favor of content that service providers prefer. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Engagement Resources

This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact Rod@USResistnews.org.


 

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