TECH

Justin Trudeau, Other World Leaders Praise Net Neutrality Ahead Of FCC's Planned Repeal

Scrapping current regulations “does not make sense," the Canadian prime minister said Wednesday.

11/23/2017 17:28 EST | Updated 11/23/2017 17:28 EST

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among the world leaders who have spoken up in support of net neutrality this week in the wake of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that it plans to throw out regulations that require internet providers to treat all online content equally.

Trudeau told Motherboard on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s plan to repeal net neutrality “does not make sense.” 

“I am very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality,” Trudeau said. “Net neutrality is something that is essential for small businesses, for consumers, and it is essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive.”

He added that he’ll look into ways to defend net neutrality for the internet as a whole.

Speaking at the Global Conference on Cyberspace held in New Delhi on Thursday, India’s minister of law and justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that “right of access” to the internet should be “non-negotiable.”

“Internet is supposed to be democratic. It is a big global platform, but must be linked the local ideas and concepts,” Prasad said, according to The Indian Express. 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also attended the event, similarly expressed his support for net neutrality, saying that the protection “lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet as a fair and level playing field and helps businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive online.”

“Open internet facilitates the marginalized and oppressed segments that are not adequately represented in the mainstream media, to tell their stories and to mobilize justice, as we have seen in recent times,” he added.

In the U.S., tech giants including Facebook, Google, Reddit and Netflix have expressed their disappointment and opposition to the FCC’s plan.  

Opponents of net neutrality, including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon ― which owns HuffPost’s parent company, Oath ― have also been vocal, arguing that services such as Netflix that use more bandwidth should have to pay more.

On Wednesday, a top FCC official urged the American public to “stop us from killing net neutrality.” 

Reach out to the rest of the FCC now,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “Tell them they can’t take away internet openness without a fight.” 

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