Silicon Valley giants oppose FCC plan to repeal Net Neutrality

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Unlike some matter of the FCC that principally concern technicians and policy wonks, net neutrality is a subject of fierce public debate.

A federal appeals court upheld the rules in 2016 after broadband providers sued.

If the ownership cap is eased, as expected, by the Republican-controlled, 5-member commission, it would be a boost to Sinclair Broadcast Group as it looks to close its $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media.

"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet", Pai said in a statement. However, the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to repeal so-called "net neutrality" regulations enacted two years ago under the Obama Administration.

Pai began circulating his proposal among the FCC commissioners on Tuesday.


Pai's proposal "represents the end of net neutrality as we know it and defies the will of millions of Americans, " the group's president, Michael Beckerman, said in an email. "If you like your cable company, you'll love what this does for the Internet, because it gives Internet service providers the same kind of control over content and price as cable operators have today".

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to reveal his plans for net neutrality this week.

The proposed plan is being described as a "full repeal" that will undo previous rulings which classified broadband internet as a utility.

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, a trade group with members including top US cable provider Comcast and No. 2 Charter Communications Inc., said it welcomed Pai's proposal. "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them". He said earlier this year "people tell me that they want fast, affordable and reliable internet access".

Snap Inc. said in its filing to go public that overturning net neutrality would enable mobile internet providers to undermine its service and seriously harm its business. While tech companies such as Google and Amazon support the rules claiming that without them, broadband will regulate the content received by the consumers, broadband feels that the regulations hold their business at ransom. Gutting net neutrality will have a devastating effect on free speech online. "We believe", Verizon said in a statement to ABC, "that users should be able to access the internet when, where, and how they choose, and our customers will continue to do so". A Democratic aide said Tuesday that "there might be room for [a] conversation" if Republicans were willing to enshrine the current rules into legislation, but that position is likely to be a nonstarter for GOP critics, who argued that the rules imposed unreasonable costs on businesses.

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