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Higher Ed, Library Groups Advocate for Open Internet

March 31, 2017

Higher education and library associations called on the Federal Communications Commission Thursday to uphold Obama-era rules requiring broadband providers to treat all traffic on the internet equally. Ajit Pai, the FCC's new chairman, has indicated that the agency will roll back the rules, known as the Open Internet Order. Lifting the requirements could allow broadband providers to prioritize internet traffic from certain sources, which critics say would create "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" online.

"The higher education and library communities are deeply concerned that broadband internet access service providers … have financial incentives to interfere with the openness of the internet in ways that could be harmful to the internet content and services provided by libraries and educational institutions," the groups said in a letter to Pai and two other commissioners. "Preserving the unimpeded flow of information over the public internet and ensuring equitable access for all people is critical to our nation's social, cultural, education and economic well-being."

The associations, including the American Council on Education, the American Library Association and Educause, previously banded together to advocate for strong "net neutrality" rules.

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Carl Straumsheim

Carl Straumsheim, Technology Correspondent, joined Inside Higher Ed in 2013. He got his start in journalism as a video game blogger for Norway's third largest paper, Dagbladet, at age 15, and has since dabbled in media criticism, investigative reporting and political coverage. Straumsheim (pronounced STROMS-hyme) boasts that he once received a perfect score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, which enabled him to pursue a bachelor's degree in English from LaGrange College and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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