US Congress attempt to rollback of the Obama-era net neutrality rules has failed

2 Jan 2019

In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order repealed the 2015 net neutrality order and restoring the classification of broadband Internet access service as a lightly-regulated information service. Since then, there is a battle to run back to the Obama-era net neutrality rules. In the Congress, Democrats won a vote to reverse the repeal in the Senate but weren't able to get enough votes in the House of Representatives before the end of its session today. In his statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that ‘I’m pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives declined to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation.’ 

 

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The Internet’s success lies in its design, which is based on the principle of net neutrality. From the outset, the flow of all the content on the Internet was treated without discrimination. New entrepreneurs did not need permission or market power to innovate on the Internet. With the development of new digital services, especially the ones consuming high bandwidth such as high-quality video streaming, some Internet operators (telecom companies and ISPs) started prioritising certain traffic – such as their own services or the services of their business partners – based on business needs and plans, justifying such an approach with a need to raise funds to further invest in the network. Net neutrality proponents strongly fight back such plans arguing this could limit open access to information and online freedoms, and stifle online innovation.

 

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