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Radio News: Comcast changes its net neutrality story

Nov 27, 2017 8:53 pm
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai wants the end to the law that makes Internet providers treat all websites equally. Under Pai's plan, which will pass by a 3-2 vote on party lines on Dec. 14, net neutrality will end, and Internet providers can charge customers, or services such as Netflix or YouTube, more or less instead of treating them all the same. That has caused millions of comments to flow into the FCC's websites, and protests at the FCC's offices, and at Pai's home. One sign protesters had outside of Pai's house over Thanksgiving weekend seemed to be too much for for the Republican. The sign read, “They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered Democracy in cold blood.” Pai reacted on "Fox & Friends" Nov. 27, “I understand that people are passionate about policy, but the one thing in America that should remain sacred is that families, wives and kids, should remain out of it. And stop harassing us at our homes.” But former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler also had protesters outside his home before he came around to support net neutrality in 2015. There have, though, been racist comments posted online about Pai during the current debate about ending net neutrality, but that's true about almost any issue these days. Craig Aaron, the president of Free Press, an advocacy group that's working to keep net neutrality, told The Washington Post, “We condemn any racist comments or harassing messages sent to the chairman of the FCC. We don't think there is any place for that in the debate.” While Pai whined about one lone sign near his house, Comcast shifted its story on what will happen after net neutrality ends. The company had promised it wouldn't violate the principles of net neutrality even when the law does not hold them to those principles, but Comcast is now saying that it won't "discriminate against lawful content" or impose "anti-competitive paid prioritization." So Comcast may offer paid fast lanes to websites or video streaming providers. That's just what the rest of those signs outside Pai's house Thanksgiving warned would happen after the Dec. 14 vote to end net neutrality. It is also what, on Nov. 27, Airbnb, Etsy, Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, Reddit, Shutterstock, Sonos, Square, Squarespace, Tumblr, Twitter, and Vimeo warned about in a letter denouncing the FCC's impending vote.
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