Federal Communications Commission chief Ajit Pai is prepping to schedule a vote in December to nullify net neutrality principles in the US, which are currently in place to prevent internet service providers from blocking or delivering traffic from various sources at different speeds, reports Reuters.
According to the publication’s sources, Pai is slated to reveal his plans next week; an FCC spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
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The FCC chairman has had his sights set on slaying net neutrality since before he was appointed head of the agency. In January, word of his intentions to repeal the guidelines enforced since 2015 got out, and in April, he outlined a plan to do so in his new position.
Since then, the FCC has voted in favor of doing away with net neutrality, and collected more than 22 million comments on the matter from citizens. With the next vote, Pai & Co. could peel away the last bit of legislation preventing broadband and mobile providers from charging you varying fees for individual online services that you use.
Besides harming consumers, the removal of net neutrality could make it difficult for small businesses to scale their operations or compete with larger competitors that have deeper pockets, as the added challenges of expanding their cloud-based infrastructure (and the availability of necessary services) and reaching customers while others can outspend them, could hamper their growth.
The end of a free and open internet looms ever larger in the US. If you live in the country and are concerned about the state of affairs, you can call Congress to voice your opinion by following the instructions on this campaign site.