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Hot Takes – Net Neutrality Rollback

by Countable | 11.22.17

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it plans to repeal "net neutrality" rules that require internet service providers (ISPs) treat all web traffic equally.

It's a hot-button issue. And here are some of the Hot Takes on it:

Speaking the morning after the announcement on Fox & Friends, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that critics:

"Greatly overstate the fears about what the internet will look like going forward. I think that they also ignore that we need much more investment in networks and infrastructure to get these businesses to take the risks to build these networks, especially in rural and low income America."

He continued:

"You need to have light touch, market-based regulation, not micro-management from Washington D.C."

And like a proud father holding his newborn, Pai tweeted out a picture of himself cradling his "plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet":

Tom Wheeler, the former Democratic FCC chairman who drafted the initial 2015 net neutrality rules, wrote in a blog post that:

"The FCC has sold out to the wishes of the companies it is supposed to regulate over the consumers it is supposed to protect. For more than a decade, previous Republican and Democratic FCCs have tried to bring fairness and balance to the delivery of the internet to consumers. Every one of those efforts has been opposed by the corporations that consumers rely on to deliver the internet."

Wheeler continued:

"Now the Trump FCC has simply cut to the chase, there is no need for the big companies to sue — they’ll just be given everything they want.”

Sen. Ted Cruz did not share Wheeler’s concerns. The Texas Republican tweeted:

Missouri Sen. Roger Wicker also tweeted his support for the net neutrality rollback:

Wicker, however, confused his constituents when he followed up the above tweet with one saying, "I will continue to work with my colleagues to put a legislative solution in place that enshrines #NetNeutrality protections into law and fosters an environment where broadband is accessible, affordable, and reliable for all Americans."

There was no ambiguity in the twitter feed of Georgia Rep. Tom Graves:

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont disagrees that net neutrality rules "stifle innovation & competition, while doing nothing to protect consumers." He tweeted:

Leahy’s fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, echoed this sentiment:

Opposition to the net neutrality rollback wasn’t limited to Vermont Democrats. Washington state Sen. Patty Murray tweeted:

And Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin sent out a series of tweets:

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. One of two Democrats on the commission, Mignon Clyburn, tweeted a preview of her planned vote:

But Brendan Carr, one of the Republicans on the commission, tweeted:

Under the 2015 rules, the FCC reclassified broadband as a utility, which gave the commission the authority to regulate broadband like telephones. Pai’s proposal would shift that authority to the Federal Trade Commission. Maureen Ohlhausen, who was designated to serve as Acting FTC Chairman by President Donald Trump, welcomed the latest proposal, tweeting:

It wasn’t only legislatures hash-tagging. Pai retweeted this comment by investment mogul Mark Cuban:

Netflix, meanwhile, tweeted its support of "strong #NetNeutrality:

Did you take to twitter? Did you tweet @AjitPaiFCC or @YourReps? Let us know in the comments. And whether you agree with @mcuban or @SenSanders, hit Take Action and tell your reps. Or use our widget to contact Pai directly.

— Josh Herman

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(279)
  • Rebecca
    11/22/2017
    ···

    Preserve Net Neutrality!!! Do not allow FCC to reverse this. This only helps make it a bigger money making scheme and may pave way for the blocking of information from citizens. The People DO NOT WANT THIS.

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  • David
    11/22/2017
    ···

    I’ll be very clear: I’m only supportive of representatives who are in favor of full net neutrality. The recent actions of the FCC lend themselves only to big business and power in the hands of the few, not in the hands of the people.

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  • Nashluna
    11/22/2017
    ···

    This repeal is Government censorship! The GOP claiming it was an administration overstep is untrue. Broadband providers should not be able to charge more to access content on the internet. Everyone should be able to access the same information at no additional cost. Suppression and disinformation is class warfare!!

    Like (49)
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  • Stewart
    11/22/2017
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    Preserve net neutrality! Allow fair use!

    Like (42)
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  • Lupu
    11/22/2017
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    Please preserve net neutrality!!

    Like (33)
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  • John
    11/22/2017
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    Rolling Back Net Neutrality...another way the Rich plan on getting even RICHER. Does this Theme seem like a Recurring One? I wonder why...Wake Up!!!

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  • Duwayne
    11/22/2017
    ···

    Congress needs to stop the FCC vote & preserve Net Neutrality. The FCC was designed to protect consumers. Net Neutrality is essential to a free society. Ending it will make the internet less affordable for working class Americans, will make information less available/reliable, & move us one step closer to a dictatorship. You know that this will not be a fair vote, so it's up to Congress to do the right thing. Your constituents do not want this.

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  • Marina
    11/22/2017
    ···

    Please protect net neutrality! This is absolutely insane!

    Like (19)
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  • CRuss
    11/23/2017
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    Equal access to the internet benefits the common good. It’s not a resource to be exploited by corporations. It’s a resource that belongs to the people. Vote to save net neutrality!

    Like (17)
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  • Mark
    11/22/2017
    ···

    Keep net neutrality

    Like (16)
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  • Elke
    11/23/2017
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    Only a few corporations will benefit from rolling back net neutrality. It is a patently bad idea for the rest of us.

    Like (14)
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  • Austin
    11/22/2017
    ···

    I just do not see how repealing net neutrality is a good thing. This important legislation is the only shield between little old us and the furious monster of corporate greed. Most of the "fair" knights who need to protect us are under control of the beast. I fear there is naught we can do for all our trying. I shall try, but I suspect this is the end: the corporations and partisanship are just too much for us to handle. And if it is to be over soon, then we should enjoy net neutrality while you still can.

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  • Dylan
    11/23/2017
    ···

    I implore you my REPRESENTATIVES - the people who are supposed to protect US - the little guy - DO NOT LET THIS PASS! DO NOT LET NET NEUTRALITY FALL! DO NOT LET BIG-GREEDY-BUSINESS STEP ON THE SMALL! If this passes we will see Big Business getting richer and Small Businesses disappearing because they won’t be able to afford the higher prices and Internet is essential in today’s world to successfully grow a business! The economy will be at risk! We will also see people being less informed than they already are because they won’t be able to afford the higher prices! This is supposed to be “the land of the free” yet time and time again our representatives keep giving power to the rich! We as Americans have certain UNALIENABLE RIGHTS! IF YOU KILL NET NEUTRALITY YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO THOSE VERY RIGHTS - LIFE (Net Neutrality is how it’s always been), LIBERTY (Equal cost and usage), PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (Many angry Americans if Net Neutrality disappears)! Common sense should tell you don’t get rid of Net Neutrality - LISTEN TO IT! Do the right thing! Don’t give in to Greedy-Big-Businesses! PLEASE DON’T LET NET NEUTRALITY DISAPPEAR!

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  • Nicole
    11/23/2017
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    We need net neutrality. We need to be able to communicate with others. For many it's the only source of education or news or information ju have. Don't take this away.

    Like (11)
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  • Dorothy
    11/24/2017
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    Do not take away net neutrality!!! It is essential to freedom of information on the internet and equal education opportunities for all!!

    Like (10)
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  • Patrick
    11/22/2017
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    We cannot allow anyone, no matter how rich, no matter how powerful, restrict our rights to information. If you allow net neutrality to to be destroyed, you are restricting a fundamental human right from everyone who can’t afford it. You are restricting knowledge. We, as a unanimous people, urge you to preserve net neutrality.

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  • Bones6048
    11/23/2017
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    Protect net neutrality, the control should not be in the hands of ISP’s. Big businesses like the ISP’s will just use this as a means to control speeds to increase prices. Or worse. Please listen to your constituents on this matter. Thank you!

    Like (7)
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  • Rod
    11/23/2017
    ···

    I urge you to stop the FCC's plan to end net neutrality *before* the FCC's December 14th vote. I don't want ISPs to have the power to block websites, slow them down, give some sites an advantage over others, split the Internet into "fast lanes" for companies that pay and "slow lanes" for the rest, or force me to buy special "tiers" to access the sites and services I choose. But that's exactly what the FCC plan would do. Please read it: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-347927A1.pdf Blocking & throttling by ISPs is a serious problem. Comcast has throttled Netflix, AT&T blocked FaceTime, Time Warner Cable throttled the popular game League of Legends, and Verizon admitted it will introduce fast lanes for sites that pay-and slow lanes for everyone else-if the FCC lifts the rules. This hurts consumers and businesses large and small. If some companies can pay ISPs to have their content load faster, startups and small businesses that can't pay those fees won't be able to compete. This will kill the open marketplace that has enabled millions of small businesses and created America’s 5 most valuable companies. Without strong net neutrality protections, Internet providers will effectively be able to impose a tax on every sector of the American economy. Moreover, under Chairman Pai's plan, ISPs will be able to make it more difficult to access political speech that they don't like. They'll be able to charge fees for website delivery that would make it harder for blogs, nonprofits, artists, and others who can't pay up to have their voices heard. If the FCC passes their current order, every Internet user and business in this country will be unprotected from abuse by Internet providers, and the consequences will be dire. Please publicly support net neutrality protections by denouncing the FCC's current plan. Do whatever you can to stop Chairman Pai, to ensure that businesses and Internet users remain protected. Thank you!

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  • Philip
    11/23/2017
    ···

    Do NOT roll back net neutrality!!! This is an outrageous attempt at giving away our freedom on the Internet to corporations! They will abuse the power, as they always do and we (the common man/woman) will suffer.

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  • Shelley
    11/23/2017
    ···

    Please fight to save net neutrality. We need you to stand up for us by voting to keep the Internet as open & accessible & as free as it has been under the protections of neutrality. Countless 'little guys' keep looking to their lawmakers to see that they're looking out for them - It is maddening how many safeguards are being threatened in all corners of this administration. I suppose this is another chance, though, to do what is right by your constituents.

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