Head to Verizon stores to protest the FCC's anti-net neutrality plans

Jon Howard
November 23, 2017

After becoming Chairman, Pai had said he meant to "fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation" in telecommunications.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that his office is investigating a scheme to corrupt the Federal Communications Commission's online public-comment process on net neutrality via the use of thousands of false identities - but the FCC is not cooperating. The FCC, as pretty much America's media ombudsmen, have outlaid their plans to scrap Net Neutrality suggesting that Obama's protective legislation "went too far". But many worry that his proposal will stifle smaller rivals to broadband providers and leave ordinary citizens more at the mercy of cable and wireless companies.

"It's a signature accomplishment for Pai's chairmanship", said Fred Campbell, director of the conservative think tank Tech Knowledge. Net Neutrality started in 2015 under the Obama administration.

The son of immigrants from India, he was associate general counsel of Verizon Communications Inc. from 2001 to 2003 before working as a staffer at the U.S. Senate, the Justice Department and the FCC. The FCC will take a final vote on Chairman Pai's proposal on December 14th.

Prior to the rules, the internet economy was able to flourish free from regulation, Pai said. "Tragically, this decision is only for the benefit of the large monopoly services that deliver the Internet to the consumer".

Technology giants are expecting to lobby furiously against the FCC's plan, setting up a heavyweight fight between Silicon Valley giants and telecommunications conglomerates - two of the most well-heeled industries in the country.

The FCC released the full text of the order on Wednesday.

Currently, an estimated 23 million people living in US rural communities and towns do not have access to Internet or fixed broadband service. His proposal is expected to be approved at a meeting on December 14 by the Republican-controlled FCC.

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"Secondly, the Federal Trade Commission has long had authority and had authority prior to 2015 for nearly 20 years over this space", he says.

Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally, no matter what internet service provider is carrying it.

Repealing those rules will allow internet providers to experiment with new ways to make money. The internet must be open, fair, and competitive for all users, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

These moves allowing for more media consolidation come at the same time that Trump's Justice Department is trying to prevent greater media consolidation by suing to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner, CNN's parent company. If you're looking to stand up for it, however, you can see a map with a list of Verizon store locations at the protest website. Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting chairman of the FTC, has said that the agency's expertise in data security and privacy issues will make it a powerful defender of USA consumers.

From there, the FCC would give the Federal Trade Commission additional oversight to then "protect consumers" from "unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices" that may crop up in the absence of regulation.

What changes does the FCC want?

The FCC voted to begin the process to repeal net neutrality in May.

Democrats, public interest groups and internet companies such as Google, have advocated for tough government rules to guarantee the unfettered flow of online content.

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