Scheduled to disappear on June 11, the rules have become a political flashpoint.
The good news: The US Senate voted to overturn a December decision by the Federal Communications Commission to scrap Obama-era “net neutrality” rules, which prevent internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing down selected web traffic. Ars Technica reports that three Republican senators voted along with Democrats today to support the rules.
The bad news: The House of Representatives will now vote on the issue, and the Republican majority there isn’t inclined to slap down the FCC. If, by some miracle, the vote turns out to be in favor of net neutrality, President Trump could still veto Congress’s attempt to stop its demise.
Why this matters: Unwinding net neutrality will be toxic for innovation in America because large companies with deep pockets can easily pay for faster traffic, leaving startups at a disadvantage. The ISPs say they’ll self-regulate, but don’t hold your breath. The temptation to profit from two-speed systems—and to favor their own web content over that of rivals—will be too strong for them to resist.
What’s next for the world’s fastest supercomputers
Scientists have begun running experiments on Frontier, the world’s first official exascale machine, while facilities worldwide build other machines to join the ranks.
The future of open source is still very much in flux
Free and open software have transformed the tech industry. But we still have a lot to work out to make them healthy, equitable enterprises.
The beautiful complexity of the US radio spectrum
The United States Frequency Allocation Chart shows how the nation’s precious radio frequencies are carefully shared.
How ubiquitous keyboard software puts hundreds of millions of Chinese users at risk
Third-party keyboard apps make typing in Chinese more efficient, but they can also be a privacy nightmare.
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