US defends moves to roll back 'net neutrality' rules

February 26, 2018
A 5G antenna at the Deutsche Telekom stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The head of the US Federal Communications Commission defended Monday his move to roll back rules requiring internet providers to treat all traffic equally, saying it was needed to encourage investment in new super-fast wireless networks.

The commission in December adopted the proposal by Republican appointed chairman Ajit Pai to end the so-called "" rules adopted in 2015.

Activists have staged protests around the US and online, saying dominant broadband providers could favour their own services and hinder those of rivals and charge more for certain kinds of access.

Critics of the "net neutrality" rule however argue it was based on utility-style regulation designed for 1930s telephone companies.

Pai said the move was needed to give the private sector "greater incentives to invest" in the new generation of super-fast 5G wireless networks and ensure the United States keeps its technological edge over other nations.

"To lead the world in 5G, the United States needs modern light touch market based regulation not a one size fits all utility model that was developed in the 1930s," he told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The first deployment of 5G wireless networks, which are quick enough to download a full length film in less than a second, are expected in key markets like the United States, Japan and South Korea at the end of the year.

Pai said market based regulation was needed in the US to encourage investment in 5G wireless networks

5G is seen as key to develop newer "next generation" services such as telemedicine or autonomous driving.

Several lawsuits are expected to try to block the change.

Last month technology companies including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc threw their weight behind efforts to reverse the Trump administration's plan to repeal the Obama-era rule designed to protect an open internet.

Explore further: FCC chairman sets out to repeal 'net neutrality' rules

Related Stories

FCC chairman sets out to repeal 'net neutrality' rules

November 21, 2017

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally.

What is net neutrality and why does it matter?

December 14, 2017

"Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. On Thursday, the Federal Communications ...

Top tech lobby joins legal battle to keep 'net neutrality'

January 6, 2018

The lobby group for some of the most powerful US tech firms said Friday it would join the legal challenge to the planned rollback of "net neutrality" rules requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic ...

Recommended for you

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

January 18, 2019

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.