Trump’s FCC plans to abandon net neutrality regulations, allowing paid Internet fast lanes [U]

[Update: The FCC has today released a Fact Sheet along with full Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order that will be voted on next month.]

Led by chairman Ajit Pai, the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission has today released its controversial plan to undo the current net neutrality regulations that were approved under the Obama administration two years ago.

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While most ISPs are proponents of this change, a likely majority of Americans, along with most major tech companies, including Apple, stand in opposition to abandoning current regulations. The biggest concerns of losing net neutrality are paid prioritization, throttling, and blocking, creating an unfair landscape for Internet access among consumers and companies.

This past summer, Apple remained silent as the Internet Association along with 40 major technology company members shared their dissent and concerns about repealing the net neutrality regulations with an educational video with a call to action.

More than 10 million people left comments on the FCC’s website after the Internet Assocation’s video, with the majority appearing to support retaining net neutrality.

Just over a month later, Apple officially made a statement promoting how important net neutrality is and embracing existing regulations:

Today, macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS connect our users with ideas and information from around the world, and services like Apple Music, iTunes, iCloud, and our App Stores make it easy for them to find online music, TV, movies, and apps they love. Those connections and services depend on fair and open access to broadband services.

The Washington Post today shared that a vote for the proposed plan that will repeal the current net neutrality regulations will be on December 14. It is expected to pass with Republicans filling the majority of the commission’s seats.

From FCC chairman Pai’s perspective, he believes this will remove the burden of the government from “micromanaging the Internet.” But to consumers and businesses, there are great concerns about fair and open access to the Internet when in the hands of ISPs where the highest bidder has control.

We’ll continue to update this article with statements from notable companies.

Verizon has released an official statement that both aims to applaud the FCC’s plan as well as state that the company believes in net neutrality.

WASHINGTON – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outlined a framework today that would restore common sense and workable rules for maintaining an Open Internet. The following statement should be attributed to Kathy Grillo, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, public policy and government affairs:

“We’re very encouraged by Chairman Pai’s announcement today that the FCC will move forward next month to restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for internet services. For decades, the internet flourished under a bipartisan regulatory approach that allowed it to operate, grow and succeed free of unnecessary government controls. Two years ago, the FCC reversed course radically and put in place a set of rules based on monopoly train and telephone regulation from previous centuries. That outdated approach was unnecessary and out of step with today’s dynamic and competitive internet. It undermined investment and innovation, and posed a significant threat to the internet’s continued ability to grow and evolve to meet consumers’ needs. Now, the FCC appears poised for a much-needed return to the approach that fostered so many years of internet openness and innovation.

“At Verizon, we continue to strongly support net neutrality and the open internet. Our company operates in virtually every segment of the internet. We continue to believe that users should be able to access the internet when, where, and how they choose, and our customers will continue to do so. We are also confident that the FCC will reinstate a framework that protects consumers’ access to the open internet, without forcing them to bear the heavy costs from unnecessary regulation that chases away investment and chills innovation. We look forward to reviewing the draft order after it is released.”


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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.