Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’ll “continue to defend” net neutrality as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission set out its plans to scrap the rules around open internet access.
“I am very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday.
Trudeau was asked about net neutrality at a news conference after the chairman of the U.S. FCC said he would follow through on a pledge to try to repeal net neutrality regulations enacted under the Obama administration.
The current U.S. internet regulations treat internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon as if they were utility companies that provide essential services, like electricity. The rules mandate that they give equal access to all online content and apps.
Repealing net neutrality would allow internet providers to charge companies for speedier access to consumers and to block outside services they don't like. The change would also get rid of various consumer protections, including privacy requirements and rules barring unfair practices.
Trudeau said it is “essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive.”
“The idea of throttling certain sites or charging extra for certain services just does not make sense and if we’re going to continue to ensure that … digital technology and use of the internet is the lever to create economic growth and opportunities for citizens right across this country, we need to continue to defend net neutrality and I will,” he said.
Major internet service providers in the U.S. have signalled that they are committed to “preserving an open internet,” despite the FCC’s plan.
With files from The Associated Press