Internet firms winding up for a fight on ‘net neutrality’

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)



NEW YORK (AP) — Internet companies are readying for a showdown with a Republican-controlled government over a policy near and dear to their hearts: net neutrality.

Net neutrality rules enacted during the Obama administration basically prevents broadband providers from playing favorites or steering users toward (or away from) particular internet sites.

New Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly called the regulations a mistake. Pai could launch the process of unwinding the rules as early as Wednesday, according to reports.

Many internet companies are already running the Washington playbook — lobbying Congress to keep the rules, schmoozing government regulators, and signing letters of protest.

More potent tactics remain in reserve. In 2012, internet companies beat the entertainment industry in a fight over anti-piracy legislation after thousands of sites temporarily went dark in protest.

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