While this isn't directly impacting our Broadband project, Angus King just raised some issues about pending national legislation.
May 18, 2017
King Criticizes FCC Vote to Begin Roll Back of Net Neutrality Rules
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision today to move forward on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to repeal existing net neutrality protections, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) – a strong proponent of the open internet – released the following statement:
“Today’s vote by the FCC is a mistake. Rolling back these common-sense net neutrality protections would only deprive Americans of open and equal access to the internet and hand over immense power to service providers who will be able to act as unchecked gatekeepers. That’s not right. The internet is a powerful engine for economic and social opportunity, and it empowers free speech and innovation. It must remain open to all – not just the highest bidder.”
Senator King is a fierce proponent of protecting the internet as a tool that can be used equally by all. In September 2015, he filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. He also wrote a letter to then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in advance of the Commission’s net neutrality decision urging that broadband be reclassified as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Here's a Wikipedia explanation of Net Neutrality:
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internetthe same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.
A widely-cited example of a violation of net neutrality principles was when the Internet service provider Comcast was secretly slowing (a.k.a. "throttling") uploads from peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) applications by using forged packets. Comcast didn't stop blocking these protocols like BitTorrent until the FCC ordered them to do so. In 2004, The Madison River Communications company was fined $15,000 by the FCC for restricting their customer’s access to Vonage which was rivaling their own services.  AT&T was also caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for the new shared data plans could access the application. In April 2017, a recent attempt to compromise net neutrality in the United States is being considered by the newly appointed FCC chairman, Ajit Varadaraj Pai.