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U.S. Federal Appeals Court Wont Delay Talks About Net Neutrality

California agreed not to enforce its own state net neutrality law until the appeals court's decision on the 2017 repeal and any potential review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Net Neutrality
A sign with an emoji that reads "Don't take net neutrality away" is posted outside the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in Washington, Dec. 14, 2017. VOA

A federal appeals court said Thursday it would not delay oral arguments set for Feb. 1 on the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules governing internet providers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday asked the court to delay the arguments over its December 2017 repeal, citing the partial government shutdown. Without comment, the court denied the request.

The FCC had no immediate comment on the decision.

A group of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia have asked the court to reinstate the Obama-era internet rules and block the FCC’s effort to pre-empt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet.

Net Neutrality
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, left, receives congratulations from Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, center, and Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, after his net neutrality bill was approved by the state Senate. VOA

Several internet companies are also part of the legal challenge, including Mozilla Corp, Vimeo Inc and Etsy Inc, as well as numerous media and technology advocacy groups and major cities, including New York and San Francisco.

The FCC voted to reverse the rules that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

The FCC said providers must disclose any changes in users’ internet access.

‘Misguided’ repeal

The net neutrality repeal was a win for providers like Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but was opposed by internet companies like Facebook Inc, Amazon. com Inc and Alphabet Inc.

Major providers have not made any changes in how Americans access the internet since the repeal.

net neutrality
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks after signing a bill, March 5, 2018, in Olympia, Washington, that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements in response to the FCC’s recent repeal of Obama-era rules. VOA

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said on Thursday that the lawsuits are aimed at overturning the agency’s “misguided” repeal of the Obama rules. “The fight for an open internet continues,” she wrote on Twitter.

Also Read: Google Probing ‘Malicious’ Attack on its Internet Traffic

The panel hearing the case is made up of Judges Robert Wilkins and Patricia Millett, two appointees of Barack Obama, and Stephen Williams, an appointee of Republican Ronald Reagan.

In October, California agreed not to enforce its own state net neutrality law until the appeals court’s decision on the 2017 repeal and any potential review by the U.S. Supreme Court. (VOA)

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Amazon Working to Bring Inclusive Internet with 3,236 Satellites

Social networking giant Facebook is also developing an Internet satellite of its own, the report noted

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Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

In a bid to provide Internet to the “unserved and underserved communities around the world”, Amazon is working to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites into low-Earth orbit.

The project “Kuiper” will consist of 784 satellites at an altitude of 367 miles from the earth, 1,296 satellites at 379 miles and 1,156 satellites at 391 miles — facilitating Internet availability to over 95 per cent of the earth’s total population.

“Project ‘Kuiper’ will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” The Verge quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying on Friday.

“This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband Internet.”

Moving forward with the initiative, the project has already filed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — the international organisation in charge of coordinating satellite orbits.

Even though Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has his own spaceflight company called “Blue Origin”, the company is considering all other options as well.

Amazon logo. Wikimedia

Details on whether the company intends to build its own satellites or buy them from a third party remain unclear as of now.

“There’s no time-frame for when Amazon’s satellites might be sent into orbit, but it will need to receive the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval before it can do so,” the report added.

Also Read- LG Says Q1 Operating Profits May Decline Over 18%

Apart from Amazon, other tech majors have also lately been working with satellites.

Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has plans to launch as many as 12,000 satellites as part of its “Starlink” constellation and London-based global communications company “OneWeb” wants to launch 650 satellites to implement new space-based Internet communication systems.

Social networking giant Facebook is also developing an Internet satellite of its own, the report noted. (IANS)