After crushing a set of privacy rules on ISPs that restrict them from sharing your online data with third parties without your consent, President Donald Trump’s newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai has announced the first move in its efforts to kill off Net Neutrality.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will roll back net neutrality rules that require Internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all services and websites on the Internet equally.
Before moving forward, let’s first understand What does Net Neutrality mean?
What is Net Neutrality And Why It’s Important?
Net Neutrality is simply the Internet Freedom — Free, Fast and Open Internet for all.
Net Neutrality is the principle that ISPs should give consumers access to all and every contents and application on an equal basis, treating all Internet traffic equally.
Today, if there is something that makes everyone across the world ‘Equal,’ it’s the Internet.
Equality over the Internet means, all ISPs have to treat Facebook or Google in the same way as your local shop website, and the richest man in the world has the same rights to access the Internet as the poorer.
And this is what “Net Neutrality” aims at.
FCC Unveils Plans to Kill Net Neutrality
But, What if someone snatches this Internet Freedom from you all? What if you have to pay ISPs extra for loading your website faster? What if you can’t access your favorite website, which has been blocked by your ISP?
The FCC’s new Chairman Pai is planning to do exactly same in the United States.
In a 400 page document released Wednesday, the FCC detailed its new plan which, if passed, would allow ISPs to give or sell access to “fast lanes” and block web traffic to others.
In other words, the new plan will allow ISPs to block access to legal content, restrain connections for users attempting to access certain sites or services and to be paid for prioritizing some lawful web traffic over other lawful web traffic.
This simply means if for example, you love watching movies and TV series on Netflix, Comcast and Verizon, which have their video services, will slow down the connections to its competing service when you try to access it, and you would eventually end up watching videos at the services they want you to use.
Here’s What FCC Chairman Excused About Reversing Net Neutrality Rules:
“We need rules that focus on growth and infrastructure investment, rules that expand high-speed Internet access everywhere. Rules that give Americans a more online choice, faster speeds, and more innovation,” Pai said.
Pai argued that the 2015 regulations in the Obama administration had discouraged ISPs from investing in their networks, as well as slowed the expansion of internet access.
Also, ISPs are much more likely to strike valuable deals with large, established websites and services than relatively unknown companies or startups, which will be hit hardest by this new move.
“Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market,” reads a letter sent to Pai by a group of 800 startups.
“They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice. Those actions directly impede an entrepreneur’s ability to ‘start a business, immediately reach a worldwide customer base, and disrupt an entire industry.”
Meanwhile, with no surprise, ISPs including Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have welcomed the new plans.
The FCC will vote on the rollback of the FCC’s 2015 regulations on May 18 and proposed rule change, but Mr. Pai has not revealed what he wants to replace the net neutrality rules with.
Once approved, the proposal will remove any legal power the FCC currently has to regulate ISPs, returning everything to the state it was before 2015.
Pai, who has openly expressed his views against net neutrality in the past, was previously quoted as saying that Net Neutrality was “a mistake” during a speech at Mobile World Congress.
The non-profit foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is encouraging people to take action before it gets too late and “tell Congress to stop the FCC from throwing Internet users and innovators to the wolves.”