By VERONICA SPAGNA
This Tuesday, Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced his plans to repeal the regulations of net neutrality passed in the Obama-era.
In February 2015, Tom Wheeler, Democrat chairman of the FCC at the time, gave the agency the ability to protect net neutrality. Net neutrality, also known as the open internet, is defined by USA Today as “the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring some sources or blocking others.”
ISPs are the companies that provide internet access such as Verizon and AT&T. Content providers are companies which create and distribute information, such as Facebook, Netflix and Google.
The net neutrality rules prohibit ISPs from discriminating by slowing down or blocking the delivery of data or any content of information you want to access. Without these rules, ISPs can slow down the content of its competitors and block political opinions that they do not agree with. If the regulations of net neutrality would be removed, ISPs would be allowed to charge content providers for a faster delivery of their content on “fast lanes,” and intentionally slow down content providers with whom they compete with.
Pai wants to replace the agency’s rules with “voluntary” conditions, meaning that the ISPs are not required to comply with them.
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” said Pai, chairman of the FCC, “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”
Many articles disagree with the removal of net neutrality regulations, analyzing all the negative consequences this could have on the free flow of information and ideas. Many reports focused on companies that do not have the money to pay for “fast lanes.” For example, small businesses may suffer, as they rely on the open internet to create new markets and advertise. Political and social movements may be silenced if their ideas go against what the ISPs want, which would mean that the ISPs would be blocking speech.
The FCC will vote on the removal of net neutrality on Dec. 14. Since the announcement proposing the removal net neutrality, millions of opponents have commented on the internet, finding ways to prevent the unveiling of this principle.
Reporters have covered the issue in detail, giving voice to many opponents of the plan. Treating the issue of maintaining net neutrality as a form of saving the internet. Reporters have been very direct, giving numerous invitations to the readers to try and stop the removal of this principle.
The nation’s media reform network, Free Press, says: “We have three weeks to save the Internet.”