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The FCC Will Vote to Repeal Net Neutrality on Thursday

Net Neutrality protest (Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty)
Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rule on Thursday, much to the dismay of Silicon Valley and Democrats and to the cheer of conservatives.

The FCC will vote on Chairman Ajit Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” on Thursday, which would repeal the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rule, which regulated the internet as a public monopoly.

Chairman Pai told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday, “I think what net neutrality repealed would actually mean is we once again have a free and open internet. The government would not be regulating how anyone in the internet service providers, how anyone else in the internet economy manages their networks.”

Net neutrality proponents argued that the FCC needs net neutrality to prevent ISPs from unfairly blocking, throttling, or preferring some content, while conservatives argued that net neutrality would diminish the freedom of the internet. The FCC and Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari explained that under net neutrality, content providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter serve as a greater threat to internet censorship compared to ISPs.

Democrats and Silicon Valley companies argued that content providers cannot compete on an even playing field without net neutrality.

Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) said on Tuesday, “All you have to do is look at what went on over the last 10 or 15 years to see how the [internet service providers] repeatedly sought to crush potential competitors and challenged the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules in court to understand why the Open Internet Order was needed — and to see what will happen if the Open Internet Order is repealed.”

On Monday Pai and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to share the responsibility to police unfair ISP practices regarding unfair or deceptive practices to block, throttle, or promote web content.

FCC Chairman Pai said in a recent speech that repealing net neutrality would restore the internet as a free and open platform.

“So when you get past the wild accusations, fearmongering, and hysteria, here’s the boring bottom line: the plan to restore Internet freedom would return us to the light touch, market-based approach under which the Internet thrived. And that’s why I am asking my colleagues to vote for it on December 14,” Pai concluded.

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