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Editorial: Keep internet access open and equal

Editorial: Keep internet access open and equal

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Washington, DC, April 27, 2017 | comments

If you’re not happy with the high-occupancy toll lanes on I-405 that allow drivers who can afford it pay a fee to escape slower traffic, imagine the same two tiers for users on the information super highway.

Since 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules have prevented broadband service providers from creating those toll lanes and otherwise restricting access to a fast, fair and open internet. That policy, also referred to as net neutrality, says broadband providers can’t block access to legal content and services, can’t throttle or degrade data speed and can’t set up paid “fast lanes” that favor their affiliates and those willing and able to pay more.

But the FCC’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney elevated to lead the FCC by President Trump, dissented with his fellow commission members in 2015 and now has announced his plans to roll back his agency’s Open Internet rules. Announced Wednesday, Pai announced moves to weaken the rules that provide open access for websites, online services and internet users.

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