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Net Neutrality Is Alive and Well in Washington State

14 June, 2018, 00:28 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Net Neutrality Ends Today, But The Fight To Protect Internet Speeds Rages On

"The fight to restore net neutrality rules has new urgency today and moving forward as we continue to work in the House of Representatives to repeal the FCC's bad decision".

For now, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have said they would not block or throttle Web access or charge more for faster delivery of online content.

A group representing major cable companies and TV networks said Monday that "despite a new round of outlandish claims and doomsday predictions from groups dedicated to stoking political controversy, consumers will be able to see for themselves that their internet service will keep working as always has and will keep getting better". They're anxious the providers will charge consumers extra to reach particular sites and services in a speedy manner, either by directly billing them or by charging companies like Netflix, which could be expected to pass on the costs to their subscribers. The repeal will also let ISPs charge websites or online services for priority access to consumers.

Passed by the Republican-led FCC in December, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order ends the agency's prohibitions against internet service providers blocking, slowing down, or providing preferential treatment to particular internet sites and services. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations. OR has a net neutrality law that will go into effect later this year. The FCC action that goes into effect today returns the rules governing the Internet to the way they were before 2015, when the Internet grew and thrived. Washington is the only state that has net neutrality rules in place, and other states are expected to follow suit and set up laws over the coming months through executive orders. T-Mobile, for example, was criticized by net neutrality supporters for effectively making it cheaper for customers to stream videos from Netflix and HBO, putting other video services at a disadvantage. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders.

"The United States has a specialized telecom agency with the expertise and technical capability to protect net neutrality and ensure an open internet", FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny had said. Internet service providers, or ISPs, deny that they would engage in such a practice - yet consumer watchdogs worry that consumers would have little legal recourse if they did. As we reported last month, Democrats see net neutrality as motivating issue for voters.

Angelina Jolie ordered to give Brad Pitt more time with kids
A spokesperson for Jolie tells ET that the "misleading leak" of these court docs "is not in the best interests of the children". It was also revealed that Jolie reads through her children's text messages and the judge has asked her to end that odd habit.

Q. What's net neutrality, again?

Net neutrality isn't just about free speech; net neutrality also helps innovation.

"Our approach includes strong consumer protections", Pai wrote in his CNET op-ed.

The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) was successful in repealing the net neutrality rules that the previous FCC leadership passed in 2015.

"We need a referee on the field who can throw a flag", former FCC Chairman and Obama appointee Tom Wheeler said at MIT during a panel discussion in support of rules like those he championed.

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