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USA regulator wants to reverse net neutrality

Kathy Grillo, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel, public policy and government affairs, said the telco supports both net neutrality and Pai's proposal to roll back Title II utility regulation on broadband. Title II refers for regulations such as "net neutrality".

But those like Pai say it stunts investment into internet service providers and creates unnecessary government oversight.

"Two years ago, I warned that we were making a serious mistake", Pai said.

Among all the guilds, it was the most adamant in pushing for the rules in 2015 and is likely to be so in opposing Pai's moves.

"Going forward, we can not stick with regulations from the Great Depression meant to micromanage Ma Bell", Mr. Pai said in prepared remarks. "By ignoring what the public wants and attacking Title II open Internet rules, the FCC is playing with fire and potentially opening the floodgates to widespread censorship", the group Fight for the Future stated.

Pai has championed the deregulation of the Internet and is considering loosening the FCC rules that now prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, or charging more money to certain websites.

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Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's pretty much how the internet has worked since its creation. This would prevent the FCC from implementing anything like the neutrality rules we have now.

"The current FCC net neutrality rules are working and these consumer protections should not be changed", the Internet Association that represents over 40 top internet companies - including Google, Facebook, and Netflix - said.

Ajit Pai, Chairman of U.S Federal Communications Commission, delivers his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2017. Heading into the FCC's May 18 meeting, we're going to demand that our communities' access to the Internet is protected.

"Our companies should be able to compete with incumbents on the quality of our products and services, not our capacity to pay tolls to internet access providers", the startups wrote.

The benefits of adopting his approach, Pai maintained, would include better access to affordable high-speed internet for more Americans; greater investment in building new high-speed networks, resulting in more jobs; and more competition among broadband providers. Later this year, the commission will revise its rules based on the feedback it receives, and take a final vote to enact the new rules. In 2014, comedian John Oliver in his HBO show owned by Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) helped galvanize support for net neutrality.

The FCC is a slow-moving agency, so Pai's announcement merely kicks off a months-long procedure to undo the rules.

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