In the News

Editorial: Open internet now up to Congress, Legislature

With the FCC vote to end net neutrality, federal and state officials need to restore the rules

f t # e
Everett, Washington , December 19, 2017 | comments

When the decision came down in last week’s 3-2 vote by the Federal Communication Commission to dismantle the Open Internet rules that had been adopted by the FCC in 2015, no one noticed a change in online speeds or the cost of services.

But the “net neutrality” protections are gone, or are nearly so. The government will no longer regulate high-speed internet services as a utility. Adopted in 2015 as the Open Internet rules, the regulations prohibited internet service providers from blocking legal content and services, throttling data speed and setting set up paid “fast lanes” that favor their affiliates or those willing to pay more and shift the cost to consumers.

It will be weeks before the rule change becomes effective, and broadband providers — among them AT&T, Comcast and Verizon — are promising that customers’ online experiences won’t change. But the absence of FCC regulation meets that those providers will now have the ability to offer new services, such as tiers or “fast lanes” for certain content providers who will pass on the additional costs to their customers.

Click here to read the whole story

f t # e