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Democrats Object to Net-Neutrality Rollback

December 13, 2017
 
 

Democrat senators have spoken out against the repeal of net-neutrality rules, which they believe will pave the way for the creation of so-called internet fast lanes and harm higher education.

The Federal Communications Commission, which has a Republican majority, is expected to vote Dec. 14. The FCC is expected to vote to repeal Obama-era rules that ensure internet providers treat all internet traffic equally.

In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, outlined the ways in which the repeal of net neutrality could harm higher education, especially students and institutions in rural and low-income areas.

The letter was signed by 21 Democratic senators and urges the FCC chair to delay the vote “until you have fully examined the draft order’s impact on our nation’s students and their ability to learn.” The letter warned that repealing net neutrality could lead to a “tiered and compartmentalized internet” whose “characteristic openness is limited to those students, schools and institutions who can afford it.”

Higher education representative groups such as Educause, the American Council on Education and the Association of Research Libraries have been united in their condemnation of the FCC’s proposed rule change.

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