FCC repeals US of the rules of net neutrality

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US regulators have rolled back the net neutrality rules laid down in the act under the presidency of Barack Obama.

The change is seen as a great victory for the telecoms industry, but a blow to those who are in favor of an internet that offers equal access to all.

It could pave the way for operators to offer “fast lanes”, where only the rich companies can afford the best connections for consumers.

Some 21 million comments have been submitted to a public debate about these proposals.

In a statement, the president, Ajit Pai, said the Federal Communications Commission, the proposals would stop federal government “micro-managing”the internet.

“For nearly 20 years, the internet has flourished under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and the Republican congress,” he said.

“This project framework has led the private sector to invest $1.5 tn [£1.1 tn] the construction of communications networks throughout the united States. And he has given us an economics of the internet, which has become the envy of the world.”

The Obama-era changes, which followed a massive public campaign in favour of net neutrality, has reclassified the telecommunications companies as “common carriers” – or neutral gateways to content, which could neither speed up or slow down content on its networks.

They also gave the FCC much more oversight and regulatory control over the way in which they work.

But Mr. Pai describes these changes, which took effect in 2015, such as “heavy-handed utility-style regulation.”

“This decision was a mistake,” he said.

“It has depressed investment in the strengthening and expansion of broadband networks and discourage innovation.”Streaming priority

Telecommunications companies such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T agreement.

Broadband association US Telecom, stated: “Today, provide a huge opportunity for American broadband consumers, regardless of where they live.

“The removal of the archaic, restrictive regulations that will pave the way for a broadband network investment, expansion and modernization.”

But a range of other companies such as Netflix, Google and Amazon, saying the FCC’s proposals, it will be easier for telecommunications companies to give priority to their own streaming video services, or to prevent them from messaging tools like Skype or WhatsApp.

The proposals will now be voted on at the next meeting of the FCC, on December 14.

As the body has a Republican majority, they are supposed to be approved and will probably take effect at the beginning of the next year, while consumer groups have said they will contest them in the courts.