First, as a retired Computer and IT Technician I understand the internet. I support 'NET Neutrality' because the internet delivery businesses WILL eventually give in to greed, to wanting bigger profits, at internet users expense. The telecoms are NOT in business for your benefit.
Also, the Trump Administration LIES!
SUMMARY: Ajit Pai, President Trump's new FCC chairman, has plans to do away with net neutrality rules that have been in place for the last three years. Pai argues the rules are too burdensome and that they stifle innovation and competition. William Brangham discusses the changes in oversight with Pai.
JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour): A political fight is brewing about access to the Internet. The new head of the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, wants to clear away regulations about who controls and polices the flow of content on the Internet.
William Brangham has that.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour): We're talking here about what's known as net neutrality, not the easiest concept to grasp, so bear with me.
Almost all of us in America get our Internet access via one main provider. These are the telecom and cable giants like Verizon, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner. They provide the infrastructure that delivers the bounty of the Web to our homes and phones; sites and apps like Google, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, you name it.
The telecoms build the highway. The others guys are like the cars traveling that highway.
The idea of net neutrality is that the telecoms have to treat that highway as an open road. They can't pick and choose which Web sites or services get to you faster or slower. The fear is that, if they do have that power, they will be tempted to favor their content, their sites, their own videos over a competitor's.
But the telecoms argue that's not fair, they should be able to control that flow, and be able to charge more for faster access.
In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama wanted to lock in these net neutrality rules, but it faced intense pushback by the industry.
The fight even spilled into pop culture, with this from HBO's John Oliver:
JOHN OLIVER, Host, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”: If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, they won't be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motorbike. They will be Usain Bolt, and Usain bolted to an anchor.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But those net neutrality rules did pass and have been in place for the last three years.
But Ajit Pai, President Trump's new FCC chairman, now wants to get rid of those rules, arguing they're too burdensome. And this week, he began the process of rolling them back.
And FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai joins me now.
Welcome to the NewsHour.
AJIT PAI, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission: Thank you for having me.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, you, I understand, are not a fan of these net neutrality rules from a few years ago. What is your principal concern?
AJIT PAI: Well, I favor a free and open Internet, as I think most consumers do.
My concern is with the particular regulations that the FCC adopted two years ago. They are what is called Title II regulations developed in the 1930s to regulate the Ma Bell telephone monopoly.
And my concern is that, by imposing those heavy-handed economic regulations on Internet service providers big and small, we could end up disincentivizing companies from wanting to build out Internet access to a lot of parts of the country, in low-income, urban and rural areas, for example.
And that, I think, is something that nobody would benefit from.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is there evidence, though, that these rules have disincentivized those companies? There are — businesses are doing very, very well. They're spending billions on the spectrum.
AJIT PAI: There is significant evidence that investment in infrastructure has gone down since the adoption of these rules.
For example, there is a study by a highly respected economist that says that among the top 12 Internet service providers in terms of size, investment is down by 5.6 percent, or several billion dollars, over the last two years.
And amongst smaller providers as well, just literally this week, 22 Internet service providers with 1,000 customers or less told us that these Title II regulations have kept them from getting the financing that they need to build out their networks. And, as they put it, these net neutrality regulations hang like a black cloud over our businesses.
And so what we're trying to do going forward is figure out a way that we can preserve that free and open Internet that consumers want and need and preserve that incentive to invest in the network that will ultimately benefit even more consumers going forward.