U.S. regulator unveils plan to end 'net neutrality'

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Even worse, Pai plans to remove Title II classification of broadband internet access service providers. USA regulators invoked broad powers to ensure that Web traffic for all users is treated equally, adopting net-neutrality rules that supporters say will preserve a wide-open Internet and that opponents vow to fight in court.

Here's a look at what the developments mean for consumers and companies.

Snap Inc. said in its filing to go public that overturning net neutrality would enable mobile internet providers to undermine its service and seriously harm its business. Title II gives the FCC the authority to treat companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon as common carriers of internet content. Common carriage promotes interconnection, universal service and competition among carriers, and is essential to preserving free speech for those who use the communications network.

The FCC in 2015 approved rules, on a party-line vote, that made sure cable and phone companies don't manipulate traffic. Pai's administration announced its initial review of net neutrality practices over the summer, prompting tech companies like reddit and Netflix to simulate a slower Internet.

Google's unmatched employee talent and money ensure those You Tube videos have a fast lane into people's homes
Google's unmatched employee talent and money ensure those You Tube videos have a fast lane into people's homes

The FCC's plan has also stirred up heated resistance on Reddit, where numerous users are calling for USA citizens to contact their state representatives to demand their support for net neutrality. The telecom giant exempted its own video app from cellphone data caps, which would save some consumers money, and said video rivals could pay for the same treatment.

The announcement by Federal Communications chairman Ajit Pai marked the latest twist in a decade-old political dispute with both sides claiming to represent a "free and open" internet.

A federal appeals court upheld the rules in 2016 after broadband providers sued.

The new regulations will more business-friendly, giving ISPs more leeway in their business practices than the Wheeler-championed rules against prioritizing some content over other content, possibly for payment. That's good for shareholders, he said, but not good for consumers, who might see higher costs passed through to them.

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"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet", Pai said in a statement.

On Dec. 14, the commissioners will vote on whether to roll back regulations instituted in 2015 for companies that include AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. House of Representatives Democrat, said the FCC move would hurt consumers and chill competition, saying the agency "has launched an all-out assault on the entrepreneurship, innovation and competition at the heart of the internet".

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Spalter said in a statement.

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