FTC report deals blow to network neutrality

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The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday gave the “Net Neutrality” movement a major blow. In a report issued Thursday by the FTC they warned against regulations that would require providers of high-speed Internet service to treat all content the same way, saying such rules could stifle innovation.

FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said “In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.”
Telecoms and other high-speed providers welcomed the FTC report which more or less paves the way for an internet with prioritized traffic. Companies such as eBay and Google worry that a decision against net neutrality would be fraught with potential opportunities for abuse, saying companies like AT&T and Verizon could charge them more to get access to consumers or could make it harder for consumers to access unaffiliated content.

Internet access providers, on the other hand, argue that they would not block access to public sites but want to offer private Internet online-based services faster speeds for uses such as downloading movies. Interestingly, a report issued yesterday revealed the U.S. lagged behind other countries in terms of broadband speeds. Maybe if internet access providers would offer high-speed broadband access at a level on par with other nations such traffic prioritization would not be necessary.

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