By J. Krishna Moorthi
The Federal Communications Commission [FCC] voted on Thursday to dismantle the landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect to the internet, granting broadband companies the power to reshape American’s online experience potentially. The agency scrapped so-called net neutrality regulations which prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for high-quality service or specific content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like a phone service.
The broad principle is all traffic on the internet will be treated equally, and no longer able to discriminate. However, during the Obama administration, the 2015 rules barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to content or charging consumers more for specific content. They were intended to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content, and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their content.
Now, the action reversed the agency’s 2015 decision during the Obama administration to protect Americans better as they have migrated to the internet for more communications. Ajit Pai, the chairman of the commission, said the rollback of the rules would eventually help consumers because broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast could offer people a wider variety of service options. Joined in a 3-to-2 vote with his two fellow Republican commissioners, Pai stated, “We are helping consumers and promoting competition.” He then went on to say before the vote, “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.” The discarding of net neutrality regulations is the most significant and controversial action taken by the FCC. The rules were mostly a protective measure, primarily meant to prevent telecom companies from favoring some sites over others.
It is a case of doubt, did the Obama administration favor some internet companies for their benefit? Then there was no need to discriminate the traffic rules in 2015. Due to the 2015 rules, the Obama administration miserably failed for the consumer’s service and help to the Americans. Trump’s administration should see the motive behind the Obama-era Net Neutrality rules.