Apple breaks its silence on net neutrality, saying: Don't repeal the rules

Robyn Valdez
September 4, 2017

In the USA, FCC chairman Ajit Pai has laid out a plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules which has received strong reactions from the general public as well as the media.

Debates over the comment section on the FCC's proposal-which would undo a 2015 decision to reclassify ISPs as common carriers and treat the internet as a public utility-have proven to be every bit as contentious as the debate over the topic of net neutrality itself.

Supporters claim the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) push to eliminate or weaken the rules would support renewed investment in America's internet networks, while critics argue the move would empower big business and stifle consumer choice.

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But on other net-neutrality issues, such as whether to reverse the Title II classification that gives the FCC authority over service providers, Apple is less specific.

As is standard, comments must be filed by midnight Eastern time on the date of the deadline.

The net neutrality docket of the Federal Communication is however quite a mess since nearly 22 million comments come from form letters and spam bots using stolen identities from data breaches.

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"As negotiations progress on a permanent solution for net neutrality that ensures a free and open internet, the committee will postpone the original hearing in order to allow talks between stakeholders to continue", said the Committee on Energy and Commerce spokesperson. "We work hard to build great products, and what consumers do with those tools is up to them - not Apple, and not broadband providers", Apple said in its comment.

In addition, Walsh claimed that weeding out the supposedly fraudulent comments would reveal "the large majority of commenters" support reversing net neutrality protections-the position held by AT&T and other major internet service providers. But even with the fate of the open internet at stake, Pai's proposal might sail through without a huge public fight.

Apple's stance on the issue dovetails with that of many tech companies: Many tech firms say that, given the opportunity, Internet service providers could strangle new apps and websites by forcing them to pay fees or by providing better, faster service for only some apps and sites.

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