Net neutrality may be on the way out.
As a byproduct of the reclassification, which the FCC used as the foundation of its now-defunct broadband privacy rules, the FCC was stripped of its power to regulate online privacy practices.
With all of the Trump scandal and insanity dominating the news, it is easy to forget that the Republican-controlled federal government remains hard at work implementing their pro-corporate agenda.
USTelecom, an industry trade group, said the FCC "is moving the conversation beyond the merits of net neutrality to how best to safeguard this universally embraced value with a modern, constructive policy framework".
An offline rally to save net neutrality took place place outside the FCC headquarters on Thursday.
"As providers of broadband internet service in many communities across America, we've always been committed to an open internet that gives you the freedom to be in charge of your online experience".
The proposed rules will consider whether to keep or modify the rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking and throttling content or from prioritizing some content over other content, possibly for payment, and the elimination of a Internet conduct standard meant to prevent ISPs from unreasonable interference with consumer's access to destinations on the Net.
The transformation of Internet service into a basic necessity for many Americans has forced Internet providers to look elsewhere for growth.
Pai's move was cheered by major broadband providers who have celebrated the new FCC chairman's pledge to take a "weed whacker" to the net neutrality rules and replace them with "light touch" regulation. Pai was on the FCC in 2015 and objected to using Title II. "The move highlights the uphill battle for Democrats and consumer advocates, who say that weaker rules could allow Internet service providers to abuse their position as gatekeepers between customers and the rest of the Internet..."
Today's action by the FCC triggers a public commenting period before the proposal is put to a final vote later this year.
"We've heard not a peep from Chairman Pai about what he intends to do about the failed electronic comment filing system and the numerous fake comments filed to the net neutrality docket", she said. Commissioner Clyburn dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn and O'Rielly issuing separate statements.
It's unclear if anyone actually made such a comment in good faith, though all of the replies, from the dozens of people ZDNet reached out to, said they never made an FCC comment. Weaker net neutrality protections would discourage competition by tilting the playing field in favor of large enterprises that have the resources to outspend their smaller competitors.
"The internet wasn't broken in 2015", Pai said during Thursday's hearing.
The regulator has claimed it was attacked by hackers but has yet to release any evidence supporting that claim.
It was unclear, however, if the FCC acted too late to stop all rural phone bills from increasing this year.
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