The Public Pulse: Net neutrality keeps the Internet for all

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai takes a drink from a mug during an FCC meeting where the FCC will vote on net neutrality Thursday Dec. 14 2017 in Washington

The Public Pulse: Net neutrality keeps the Internet for all

Today's vote represents a departure from more than a decade of broad, bipartisan consensus on the rules governing the internet.

The majority of American did not want this change made to their service.


The FCC's vote concludes a tumultuous eight-month passage since Pai proposed gutting the earlier rules.

Ajit Pai making his case on repealing net neutrality regulations.

The new rules drew immediate threats of lawsuits seeking to overturn the action.

"The fact that Chairman Pai went through with this, a policy that is so unpopular, is somewhat shocking", said Mark Stanley, a spokesman for the civil liberties organization Demand Progress.

Protest signs outside the Federal Communications Commission headquarters in Washington on Thursday.

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During Mr Pai's speech before the vote, security guards entered the meeting room at the FCC headquarters and told everyone to evacuate. The video uses Baauer's 2012 viral tune "Harlem Shake", only further proving how out of touch the FCC is with the rest of the United States of America (no shade to Baauer, of course). They could privilege their own services over competitors', or they could even throttle or block some services they did not like. "Having clear, legally sustainable rules in place finally established rules of the road and provided legal certainty", the Internet Association, a trade group for Web companies, said in comments to the FCC. The current FCC has just opted for the latter.

Such things have happened before. And AT&T blocked Skype and other internet calling services on the iPhone until 2009. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone service. Democrats, Hollywood and companies like Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc had urged Pai, a Republican appointed by US President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. That could hurt rivals such as Sling TV, Amazon, YouTube or startups yet to be born. In short, the internet will continue to work tomorrow just as it always has.

While the FCC chairman is trying to allay fears about the abolition of Obama-era net neutrality regulations, the video seems to be bordering on mocking supporters of net neutrality.

"We'll have plenty to say in court about the legal mistakes littered throughout this decision", said Free Press spokesman Matt Wood. In a 3-to-2 vote along partisan lines, the agency ruled that internet providers are no longer required to treat all internet content equally and can deliver some content faster than others.

In front of a room packed with reporters and television cameras from the major networks, the two Democratic commissioners warned of consumer harms to come from the changes.

"In a state like New Mexico that we have a lot of small business people - that's going to be detrimental to our economics", she says.

With their vote, she added, the FCC's Republican commissioners are abandoning the pledge they took to make a rapid, efficient communications service available to all people in the USA, without discrimination.

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