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US: ‘Net neutrality’ ends on June 11

May 11, 2018

By Colin Mann

The US Federal Communications Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order will take effect on June 11th, returning the regulation of Internet service providers to what the FCC describes as “the bipartisan, light-touch approach that fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years”.

“I strongly support a free and open Internet,” declared FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “And that’s exactly what we’ve had for decades, starting in the Clinton Administration. The Internet wasn’t broken in 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure and imposed heavy-handed Title II rules on the Internet economy. It doesn’t make sense to apply outdated rules from 1934 to the Internet, but that’s exactly what the prior Administration did.”

“Now, on June 11th, these unnecessary and harmful Internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored. The Federal Trade Commission will once again be empowered to target any unfair or deceptive business practices of Internet service providers and to protect American’s broadband privacy. Armed with our strengthened transparency rule, we look forward to working closely with the FTC to safeguard a free and open Internet.”

“On June 11, we will have a framework in place that encourages innovation and investment in our nation’s networks so that all Americans, no matter where they live, can have access to better, cheaper, and faster Internet access and the jobs, opportunities, and platform for free expression that it provides. And we will embrace a modern, forward-looking approach that will help the United States lead the world in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity. For months, many politicians and special interests have tried to mislead the American people about the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Now everyone will be able to see the truth for themselves,” he concluded.

Adopted on December 14, 2017, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order ends what the FCC describes as “the heavy-handed, utility-style regulation from 1934 of broadband Internet access service”. In place of these rules is a strengthened transparency requirement that empowers consumers in the marketplace. “And by reversing the 2015 Title II designation, the Order allows the Federal Trade Commission to once again protect consumers’ online privacy and promote competition across the entire Internet ecosystem instead of harming innovation and investment with Depression-era rules,” says the FCC.

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