This story is from the category Connectivity
Date posted: 24/01/2017
President Donald Trump has chosen Ajit Pai as the new head of the US Federal Communications Commission, the government agency which regulates telecoms issues.
The appointment has raised concerns among internet rights activists that laws ensuring net neutrality are now under threat.
Net neutrality is the term given to the view that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally - rather than, for instance, internet service providers being allowed to charge more for a “fast lane” for people wanting to use data-heavy services such as Netflix.
Supporters of net neutrality - which includes Google and Facebook - believe it is vital to ensure competition among online companies.
If a fledgling video service could not afford to be in the so-called fast lane it would struggle to compete with the likes of YouTube or Vimeo, they argue.
Craig Aaron, president of communications advocacy group Free Press, said: “Ajit Pai has been on the wrong side of just about every major issue that has come before the FCC during his tenure. He’s never met a mega-merger he didn’t like or a public safeguard he didn’t try to undermine.”
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