“It is now illegal for anyone but Comcast to provide internet service,” announced FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday. “This move is necessary in order to foster broadband internet competition and ensure a free and open internet for all consumers.”
Since the Obama Administration, ISPs have been classified under Title II of the Communications Act, which prevents them from creating “paid fast lanes” for certain types of internet content. It was widely believed that the FCC would try to overturn this classification. Now it looks like the FCC has taken this one step further, and banned other ISPs outright.
An FCC spokesperson explained the rationale behind the move. “Obama-era regulations are simply too restrictive. Comcast loses a lot of money complying with these regulations, especially when other competing ISPs are allowed to provide faster internet speeds and better customer service. This means the end user gets increased rates. And competitors also spend a lot of money expanding their own infrastructure into Comcast monopoly regions, which is also cost that ends up burdening the end user. It’s in the people’s best interest to simply make competition illegal, and allow Comcast to have full control over Internet service.”
When asked to comment, President Trump also made a statement regarding the FCC move. “Net neutrality. It’s bad. Very very bad, trust me. We don’t want the net to be neutral. Then we’d be like Switzerland. And we’d have to live next to the Australians. Do we want that? No. Listen to me, what the FCC is doing, it’s very, very, good work. It’s going to Make America Great Again.”
Many internet users have had concerns over this development. Citing the net neutrality comment period on the FCC website, users on the popular forum site Reddit complained that “the people’s voices weren’t being heard”, and that “the FCC was simply following the command of their corporate lobbyists.” However, the FCC has denied such allegations. “The people have had adequate opportunities to be heard. We’ve just had to delete 100% of the comments on the FCC website because we determined that they were all made by bot accounts. Other than that, we’re always committed to what the people want.”
At press time, the FCC was reportedly considering a new rule to censor such internet forum users.