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FCC Unveils Its Plan to Rollback Net-Neutrality Rules

by Countable | 11.21.17

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it plans to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules that required internet service providers (ISPs) treat all web traffic equally.

Ajit Pai, the Republican chairman of the FCC, revealed a plan that would, as the Washington Post summarized, "give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use, and at what cost."

"Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades," Pai said in a statement.

"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet."

Pai added: "Instead, the FCC would simply require [ISPs] to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."

ISPs clicked "Like" on the FCC announcement.

"We’re very encouraged by Chairman Pai’s announcement today that the FCC will move forward next month to restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for internet services," Verizon said in a statement.

Internet companies, however, were quick to give a downvote.

"The FCC’s net neutrality rules are working well for consumers and we’re disappointed in the proposal released today," Google said in a statement.

Tom Wheeler, the former Democratic FCC chairman who drafted the initial 2015 net neutrality rules, called the move "tragic."

"The job of the FCC is to represent the consumer," Wheeler said in an interview with the Post.

"If you like your cable company, you'll love what this does for the Internet, because it gives Internet service providers the same kind of control over content and price as cable operators have today."

The FCC’s decision will be put to a vote at the agency’s December 14 meeting. With the GOP controlling three of the commission’s five seats, the net neutrality rollback is expected to pass. Pai said he’ll release a full text of his plan to the public on Wednesday.

Do you agree with Pai’s plan for the government to "stop micromanaging the Internet"? Or, like Google, are you “disappointed in the proposal released today”? Hit Take Action and tell your reps — then contact Pai directly.

— Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: SilverV / iStockphoto)

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  • Mac
    11/21/2017
    ···

    This is bottlenecking free access to the web, and is NOT “getting the government out of the internet”; it’s actually allowing corporations to charge more to access different sites. Think about if you had a $15 dollar surcharge on your internet bill for watching Netflix. <that’s what they want to do by rolling back these net neutrality laws. Do not stand for this grifting.

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  • RWM1701
    11/21/2017
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    This is a crock and a travesty and is the complete opposite of protecting the consumer. Big business wins again under Trump! Just ignore the will of the people.

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  • Dylan
    11/21/2017
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    This cannot be allowed to happen. Allowing ISPs to block access to certain websites would be annoying at best and completely disastrous for the entire country at worst. Unobstructed internet access is vital for staying informed and maintaining our freedom of speech.

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  • John michael
    11/21/2017
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    Some of us (MOST of us) require to the internet to work in 2017. This is just not okay. Why continue to find new ways to hurt the working people?! Please fight against this!!

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  • Aubrey
    11/21/2017
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    Eliminating Net Neutrality is a violation of free speech. It is also censorship of the internet. If Republicans move forward with this, the party will face the largest backlash in history. No voter on either side of the aisle is for this, and this is the clearest demonstration that the Republican Party only cares for big business. Not the people, not small businesses, not freedom, none of those things. The Republican Party is displaying and defending the claim that the highest bidder matters more than the American people with this stance.

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  • Marina
    11/21/2017
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    Please do everything you can to protect net neutrality!! This is just awful!!!

    Like (105)
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  • someverysmartgenius
    11/21/2017
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    Beware he who would deny you access to information, for, in his heart, he dreams himself your master...

    Like (93)
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  • Robert
    11/21/2017
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    I initially assume that any consumers that support this don’t understand what net neutrality really is. I think in a year or two we’ll all be wondering where the good old days of the internet have gone and why our experience is so sadly behind other developed nations.

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  • William
    11/21/2017
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    Absolutely not. Net neutrality rules prevent companies from prevent internet providers (Comcast etc) from limiting your access to websites. The effect would be a form of corporate censorship. There is no reason that Comcast should be able to have the power to control which websites I visit, which news I get to read, which perspectives I’m exposed to. A system like that BEGS to be abused by political and corporate entities alike.

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  • Linda
    11/21/2017
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    FCC must continue to support net neutrality.

    Like (60)
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  • Vignesh
    11/21/2017
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    Please do not remove the net neutrality rules. Having an internet that is equal is necessary for democracy and the fair sharing of information. With ISPs in control this access to information can be censored, cost more, or be throttled. Innovation still happens under current net neutrality rules and is not being hampered with them in place.

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  • Mindy
    11/21/2017
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    The lies that the FCC is saying about net neutrality is only in the interest of corporate greed. They say they are “restoring internet freedom” but what they mean is taking the freedom of the internet from individuals and giving it to CORPORATIONS WHICH ARE NOT PEOPLE.... The regulations spoken of are there to protect the American people’s right to the internet from those who would profit from greed. The internet, like the water of the Earth, belongs to the people and must remain equal in the eyes of the law. VOTE TO KEEP NET NEUTRALITY. Or please resign, for you would not be the voice of the American people, only our greedy financial predators.

    Like (54)
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  • John
    11/21/2017
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    Is there any way to stop this? This is a give away to controlling business interests that has no benefit to the American public. Not only will public access be affected by these policies, but academic and scientific access will likely become more expensive and difficult. The internet should not be a “money making machine.”

    Like (49)
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  • Wayne
    11/21/2017
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    Eliminating Net Neutrality is a violation of free speech. It is also censorship of the internet. If Republicans move forward with this, the party will face the largest backlash in history. No voter on either side of the aisle is for this, and this is the clearest demonstration that the Republican Party only cares for big business. Not the people, not small businesses, not freedom, none of those things. The Republican Party is displaying and defending the claim that the highest bidder matters more than the American people with this stance.

    Like (47)
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  • Derek
    11/21/2017
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    This is purely a givaway to large isp corperations. All arguments ajid pai makes are at best extremely misleading, and at worst, compleatly false. Investment in internet infrastructure has always been increasing, although pai said current regulation was killing investment, and pai said there is no proof companies will abuse their power in the ways that his opponents say that they could, but there are real examples of it happening. This absolutely does not help the people, or internet startups at all, and cout risk turning the internet from a beautiful free market, into a corperatocracy.

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  • Matthew
    11/21/2017
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    This is unconscionable!!! This needs to be stopped before companies decide what we should and should not see and in what way!

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  • Ryan
    11/21/2017
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    I will note vote for a representative that does not defend net neutrality. If you do not oppose the FCC and their plan to roll back net neutrality, you will lose my support and my vote.

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  • Patrick
    11/21/2017
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    Repealing Net Neutrality will give ISP’s entirely too much power over what American citizens are able to see and do on the internet. I have zero faith in these giant corporations to do the right thing and not try to profit off of this. The FCC is there to protect the American people and this is entirely in the best interest of the ISP’s, not your constituents. A free and open internet is what is best for all Americans, regardless of where they stand socially, politically or economically. Please do not allow Ajit Pai to do this to our internet. Thank You.

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  • Mark
    11/21/2017
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    Hope this gets voted down . The only way to keep the internet fair and equal for all is to maintain the net neutrality equation built in . People will really feel the slowdown of data all because a “your” segment of the internet will cost you more to speed up data flow. This is how they are getting to the cable cutters for dropping cable tv feeds. Not fair....

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  • Addie
    11/21/2017
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    Net neutrality is a defining issue of our time. Access to high speed affordable internet is already a challenge for many citizens. Don’t let greedy service providers make it harder!

    Like (23)
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