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US gives up on Net Neutrality

Regulators surrender to corporate backers

The Federal Communications Commission has given up on the idea of net-neutrality and will let telcos charge content companies for bandwidth. Instead of fighting the telcos, it will instead give them exactly what they want and provide a better service to those who pay for it and throttle those who can’t.

The proposed rules are a complete turnaround for the FCC on the subject of so-called net neutrality, the principle that Internet users should have equal ability to see any content they choose, and that no content providers should be discriminated against in providing their offerings to consumers.

The FCC's previous rules governing net neutrality were thrown out by a federal appeals court this year. The court said those rules had essentially treated Internet service providers as public utilities, which violated a previous FCC ruling that Internet links were not to be governed by the same strict regulation as telephone or electric service.

Still it looks like people in the US will end up paying through the nose for their Internet content. Netflix has just charged its customers an extra $2 after making an agreement with telcos not to throttle its content.

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