Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, April 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 50° Clear
News >  Business

What happens once ‘net neutrality’ rules bite the dust?

This June 19, 2015 photo shows the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. Pai distributed his alternative plan to the net neutrality rules to other FCC commissioners Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in preparation for a Dec. 14 vote on the proposal. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
This June 19, 2015 photo shows the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. Pai distributed his alternative plan to the net neutrality rules to other FCC commissioners Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in preparation for a Dec. 14 vote on the proposal. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
By Tali Arbel Associated Press

NEW YORK – The Federal Communications Commission formally released a draft of its plan to kill net-neutrality rules, which equalized access to the internet and prevented broadband providers from favoring their own apps and services.

Now the question is: What comes next?

The FCC’s move will allow companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to charge internet companies for speedier access to consumers and to block outside services they don’t like. The change also axes a host of consumer protections, including privacy requirements and rules barring price gouging and unfair practices.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the plan eliminates unnecessary regulation. But many worry that his proposal will stifle small tech firms and leave ordinary citizens more at the mercy of cable and wireless companies.

“It would be a radical departure from what previous (FCC) chairs, of both parties, have done,” said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to Tom Wheeler, the Obama-era FCC chairman who enacted the net neutrality rules now being overturned. “It would leave consumers and competition completely unprotected.”

During the last Republican administration, that of George W. Bush, FCC policy held that people should be able to see what they want on the internet and to use the services they preferred. But attempts to enshrine that net-neutrality principle in regulation never held up in court, at least until Wheeler pushed through the current rules now slated for termination.

Pai’s proposals stand a good chance of enactment at the next FCC meeting in December. But there will be lawsuits to challenge them.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Asking the right questions of your CBD company

Bluegrass Hemp Oil in Spokane Valley offers a variety of products that can be very effective for helping with some health conditions. (Courtesy BHO)
Sponsored

If you are like most CBD (cannabidiol) curious consumers, you’ve heard CBD can help with many ailments.