Net neutrality at risk

Donald Trump has nominated Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai to chair the commission. Pai is an opponent of net neutrality and will likely push as chair to do away with it.

Net neutrality is a governing principle that governments and internet service providers should handle all data equally, without imposing higher prices or otherwise treating anyone different for different methods of data delivery. When the web is neutral, a homemaker’s information travels at the same speed as Citicorp’s. And neutrality requires regulation—on an unregulated web, service providers can discriminate and provide different speeds at different prices. Critics of net neutrality call an unregulated internet “open.”

Net neutrality is opposed by Nevada’s U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who says he opposes regulating the web.

Consumer-oriented sites like Scientific American are warning, “One of the first regulations on the chopping block is likely to be the 2015 Open Internet Order, which aimed to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) cannot intentionally slow or block any of the content in their networks—a prohibition that forms the essence of net neutrality.”

But some business sites like Forbes are running headlines like, “Why Is The Media Smearing New FCC Chair Ajit Pai As The Enemy Of Net Neutrality?” By this, it apparently means quoting Pai’s actual positions. It gave this Inquirer headline as an example of smearing: “New FCC Chief Ajit Pai Who Promises To Kill Net Neutrality Is Confirmed.”