How to fix home internet speed problems
In a major victory for Internet service providers, the Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday to ban blocking of websites and services that allegedly speed up Internet access, effectively banning throttling.
Internet service companies were quick to condemn the decision.
“We are disappointed by the FCC’s decision, which will have significant consequences for Internet access access and the Internet economy,” the Internet Association said in a statement.
“This is the latest step in the FCC reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service and imposing new restrictions on Internet access.”
“We applaud the FCC for working hard to create the Open Internet Order that we have worked for more than six years to enact, and we look forward to working with the agency on other important issues that will help create a more open Internet,” AT&T and Verizon Communications said in separate statements.
The decision is an important victory for consumer groups, who have long fought against the FCC using the so-called net neutrality rules to impose blocking and throttling restrictions.
The agency voted 6-2 to ban the practice of “blocking and throttlling,” which is the practice whereby a website or service is prohibited from using any of the Internet’s pipes, cables or other facilities to deliver traffic to users.
Internet providers argue that blocking and slowdowns can be necessary to provide fast Internet service.
However, the FCC said the practice would still hurt consumers.
“While blocking and blocking-related practices could help some websites, like Facebook, deliver faster Internet to their users, they do not help Internet access or reduce Internet latency,” the FCC wrote in its decision.
Internet Service Providers, which include AT&G and Verizon, have argued that blocking is not necessary because it does not degrade the quality of Internet service, which the companies claim is a more important consideration.
But the FCC has said that blocking may help with certain traffic management issues, such as blocking unwanted advertisements.
“Although blocking does not have a significant impact on the quality or speed of the internet, it may impair an internet user’s ability to access other websites and applications, and it can interfere with the delivery of certain types of online services, such of video streaming services and online gaming,” the agency said in its ruling.
“These harms may not be sufficient to justify blocking in the first place.”
The agency also found that blocking violates net neutrality.
“Achieving a level playing field requires that all Internet traffic, including those that are not paid for by a content provider, be treated equally,” the commission wrote.
“In this regard, blocking is necessary to ensure that all internet traffic is treated equally, and to prevent ISPs from blocking content they do have a legitimate interest in blocking.”
“While the FCC may impose some restrictions on the ability of ISPs to block certain types and types of traffic, the Commission has concluded that blocking does less harm to consumers than slowing, degrading, or otherwise slowing Internet access,” the decision said.
“The FCC is committed to providing an open, competitive Internet, which is why the Commission’s current Open Internet order requires ISPs to treat all traffic equally.”
A spokesperson for Verizon said in an email, “We support net neutrality, but we have always been clear that the FCC should not impose new restrictions that would hinder consumers from accessing and using the Internet.”
AT&S said in the same statement that “the FCC’s action today is contrary to the clear intent of the Open Net rules, which have been upheld in court.”
AT & T Communications said it “will continue to work with the FCC and the industry to protect consumer choice and innovation,” and said it will continue to fight to ensure “open, competitive, and free” internet access.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told reporters on Wednesday that “there will be a time” for a new order.
Pai said he was not ruling out new restrictions, but he would not be rushing to approve a new one.
“What I want to do is ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Pai said.
FCC Chairman Ajit Mehta told reporters he would wait for a full review of the agency’s decision before taking any further action.
The FCC has a new rule, but many of its previous rules are on hold as the agency reviews whether it has enough information to justify a new regulation.
Pai has said he plans to rule on the matter by the end of March.
“I think we need to take a look at what the evidence is and the legal precedent for this.
I don’t think it’s going to take me a very long time,” Pai told Fox News.
Pai’s comments followed comments from Internet service provider Netflix that it has also decided to block websites that block or slow down Internet access for subscribers.
“Netflix and all the other Internet companies are going to be working very hard to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure a level play for all of our customers and make sure they get the same quality of service,” CEO Reed Hastings said in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a