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US Federal Communications Commission voted to rollback "net neutrality" rules

US Federal Communications Commission voted to rollback "net neutrality" rules

US regulators voted to rollback "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all traffic equally.

The critics say the move is against the interest of the consumers and favours big corporate companies. By doing so, the Republican-majority commission has reversed the 2015 "net-neutrality" ruled of the previous Obama Administration, which mandated upon all internet service providers to treat all traffic equally, without blocking or showing content.

The Federal Communications Commission, in a 3-2 vote, adopted a proposal by Republican appointed chairman Indian- American Ajit Pai. The decision restores the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years, the FCC.  In place of that heavy-handed framework, the FCC is returning to the traditional light-touch framework that was in place until 2015, it asserted.

Moreover, the FCC also adopted robust transparency requirements that will empower consumers as well as facilitate effective government oversight of broadband providers' conduct

What is Net Neutrality?

  • Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.
  • Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.
  • Net Neutrality is important for business: Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation. It’s thanks to Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.

Net Neutrality in India

Trai has backed the basic principles of an open and free internet in its recommendations on Net Neutrality. Trai has kept content delivery networks (CDN) out of the regulation. Trai has also recommended a watchdog along the lines of BARC India for enforcing Net Neutrality and proposed reasonable measures of traffic management, in line with Trai guidelines.

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