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Backdoor Scheme Against Net Neutrality

January 29, 2015 | Telepresence Options

internet-address

Story and Images by Michael Winship / Consortiumnews

With public opinion solidly behind Net Neutrality - and the Obama administration prepared to safeguard it - the Republican Congress has come up with a scheme to sabotage those regulatory protections, as Michael Winship explains.

Over the last few months, things have been looking good for keeping the Internet open to everyone. A little too good, as far as Congress is concerned, which is why members and the corporate lobbyists who write them hefty checks have launched a last-ditch legislative effort to scuttle Net neutrality.

Both President Barack Obama and Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler have stopped tiptoeing around Net neutrality and seem to finally embrace the idea of using Title II of the Telecommunications Act to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and regulate them as common carriers, like the phone companies and other public utilities. No preferential treatment to those willing to shell out big corporate bucks for a fast lane.

In early January, Wheeler told a crowd at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, "There's a way to do Title II right.." And in his State of the Union address, Obama announced, "I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world."

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