An illustration of the global reach of the world-wide web. From Pixabay.
An illustration of the global reach of the world-wide web. From Pixabay.

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution Friday opposing the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed actions to eliminate net neutrality.

The FCC is expected to vote Thursday on a plan that would dismantle regulations put in place by the Obama administration that requires all internet traffic be treated by service providers equally.

The rules prohibit providers from charging websites different fees that could create a “fast” or “slow” lane of traffic that critics say would harm small startups that cannot afford larger fees. Critics also say doing away with net neutrality would allow providers to censor content, prioritize its own content or block the content of a competitor.

“The loss of net neutrality will disadvantage small businesses and startups, because in order to flourish, they need access to their customers, and if they are in the `slow’ lane, they’re not going to have the same access as larger companies who can afford to pay internet service at VIP speeds,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the resolution with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is leading the effort to wipe away net neutrality, has said the rules are unnecessary regulation that can stifle innovation.

“For almost 20 years, the internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress,” Pai said in a statement in November.

“This bipartisan framework led the private sector to invest $1.5 trillion building communications networks throughout the United States. And it gave us an internet economy that become the envy of the world.”

The resolution was approved with a 13-0 vote and also states that opposition to the FCC’s proposal be added to the city’s 2017-18 Federal Legislative Program.

–City News Service

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