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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Offers A Striking Defense Of Net Neutrality In Light Of Its Uncertain Future

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The election of Donald Trump may have signaled the end for Net Neutrality, but one person who thinks it could be saved is outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. The FCC chairman says there is still a chance to save net neutrality (which bars internet service providers from giving providing preferable treatment to some forms online services or content) despite an incoming Republican-led administration.

Net neutrality has been an ongoing issue for lawmakers who are starting to see pushback from service providers. If repealed, providers would be able to slow down services in order to promote their own services. While everyone may be freaked out their Skype accounts may be in peril, net neutrality has had some victories in the courtroom. But that may be in danger when Trump enters the White House, as the president-elect’s new advisors who will lead his transition team’s FCC and telecommunications policies are staunch net neutrality opponents. Despite some possible choppy waves ahead, Wheeler is confident the end of net neutrality is not nigh and revoking them would not help consumers:

“The overarching goal of the new policies was to promote a thriving broadband ecosystem, and that’s exactly what has happened…What some describe as ‘free market economics’ cannot mean simply freeing incumbents of their responsibilities. A hands-off approach to network oversight is more than a shift in direction, it is a decision to remove rights and move backward.”

Wheeler went on to note if net neutrality is revoked, providers wouldn’t think twice about hurting consumers in order to make some cash:

“Those who build and operate networks have both the incentive and the ability to use the power of the network to benefit themselves even if doing so harms their own customers and the greater public interest. This is not casting aspersions at network operators, it is simply stating a historical fact that reflects basic human nature.”

It shall remain to be seen if Trump will tweak net neutrality rules when he enters office.

(Via Wired & The Verge)



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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Offers A Striking Defense Of Net Neutrality In Light Of Its Uncertain Future

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