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Net-neutrality ruling nears

Federal+Communications+Commission+Chairman+Ajit+Varadaraj+Pai+testifies+on+Wednesday%2C+July+19%2C+2017+before+the+U.S.+Senate+Committee+on+Commerce%2C+Science%2C+and+Transportation+on+Capitol+Hill+in+Washington%2C+D.C.+%28Ron+Sachs%2FCNP%2FZuma+Press%2FTNS%29
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai testifies on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai testifies on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai testifies on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)


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The five members of the Federal Communications Commission, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, will vote Thursday to retain or repeal rules ensuring net neutrality.

In 2015, at then-President Obama’s request, the FCC classified Internet service as a public utility. That rule ensures net neutrality in the U.S.

Net neutrality, or the open Internet, is a policy requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all data equally, meaning consumers retain access to all content at the same speed regardless of where it’s hosted online.

The general consensus is the five-member commission will vote Thursday to repeal most of the rules put in place by the Obama administration.

Earlier this year, large Internet companies including Netflix, Google, and Twitter announced their support for continued net neutrality.

Meanwhile, ISPs Verizon and AT&T have both issued statements publicly supporting an open-Internet policy, but neither thinks the current rules are the best way of achieving that.

— By Molly Hunter

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