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No longer a tech nerd debate, FCC drives the internet in the fast lane

Posted by   /  December 15, 2017  /  No Comments

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A woman in Los Angeles protests FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules. /Photo: Ronen Tivony / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The regulatory rollback won’t change things for Americans, proponents say

By Margaret Haring McGil | POLITICO

The repeal of net neutrality ushers in a new chapter of the internet that could eventually transform the way Americans communicate, shop and consume information online.

The Federal Communications Commission’s party-line vote Thursday to dump the Obama-era rules, which required internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, opens the door for companies like Verizon and AT&T to experiment with new business models free from government regulation.

ISPs point to an array of possible pro-consumer outcomes like “family friendly” broadband packages that block content not suitable for children, or guaranteed fast speeds for health-related mobile applications. But net neutrality advocates paint an array of troubling scenarios — from smaller websites like the crafts marketplace Etsy and streaming service Vimeo forced to pay tolls to reach consumers, to cable giants like Comcast blocking or slowing disfavored sites while giving priority to their own content.

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