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May 23, 2017

FCC Opens Public Comment on Net Neutrality Proposal

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday unveiled its proposal to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules, opening it up to comments from the public in the process. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal would undo the reclassification, which would eliminate the commission’s authority to stop internet service providers from blocking certain websites or increasing the download speeds—creating so-called "fast lanes"—that websites can buy into. Last week the FCC voted along party lines to move ahead with trying to eliminate the regulations, which reclassified ISPs as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic the same. The 75-page proposal, titled “Restoring Internet Freedom," will be open for public feedback until August 17. The FCC does have an obligation to consider the comments it receives and to act in the public interest.   Pai called the net neutrality rules a "mistake" in February during remarks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The rules, which were approved by the FCC in 2015, let the agency regulate the internet as a public utility and placed stronger restrictions on broadband providers. The regulations prevent internet providers from playing favorites by speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.  After the comment period closes, there will be another vote before any new policy is made. FCC already received more than 2.5 million comments.

 
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