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News Link • Internet

Net Neutrality Isn't Neutral At All

• by Kyle S. Swan

Net neutrality has been getting so many "hot takes" lately, it almost makes you wish someone would be non-neutral about this content and block it. These have come during the run-up to today's Federal Communications Commission vote, which will likely reverse the Commission's June 2015 reclassification of internet service providers as Title II (of the 1934 Communications Act) telecommunication common carriers.

Reclassification as common carriers, however, made ISPs subject to FCC regulation.

So-called "edge providers" (like FAMGA – Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon) are contract carriers. They, like a typical market service, provide their content and apps subject to mutual agreement. From the beginning of the commercial internet until the 2015 reclassification, this was true of internet service providers, too. Their reclassification as common carriers, however, made ISPs subject to FCC regulation, like telecommunications companies and other public utilities are. The primary stated aim of this reclassification was to ensure access neutrality for online content.

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