Well, notch this down as another heinous Trump action to dismantle an Obama era policy and it is a major one. More from The New York Times:
The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites.
The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration that prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers.
The clear winners from the move would be telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast that have lobbied for years against regulations of broadband and will now have more control over the online experiences of American consumers. The losers could be internet sites that will have to answer telecom firms to get their content in front of consumers. And consumers may see their bills increase for the best quality of internet service.
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Mr. Pai said in a statement. “Instead, the F.C.C. 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 and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”
So, what is net neutrality? In a nutshell, the government, as well as other nations, consider the internet as a public utility, something as essential as phones and electricity. Sure, you still pay for internet service, most likely from a cable provider, but there is a regulated market price and the provider cannot manipulate internet speeds or block certain sites (like a competitor).
Admittedly, it is a mixed bag (Russian hackers, anyone?), but neutrality sticks to the egalitarian ideals of the Internet itself. Now, under Ajit Pai’s plan, the internet will be considered a commodity, which will be a boon for corporations.
Hmm, just like healthcare, where the G.O.P. considers it a commodity and not a right.
To read more, head over to The NYT: F.C.C. Announces Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality