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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and US states regulators have agreed to stop the US internet shutdown, but a key question remains: what happens to all those customers that were shut off?
In a letter sent today to AT&I and Verizon, FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other members of the commission, Pai and his fellow commissioners say the shutdown will “provide significant benefits to consumers, to businesses, and to our economy.”
Pai also says the move is consistent with a “comprehensive plan” to “support the economic recovery, improve the quality of life for Americans, and promote the American public’s understanding of its responsibilities as a free and open society.”
The letter does not specify which states will continue to be hit by the shutdown.
“The continued shutdown will benefit Americans who rely on our Internet service and services, while benefiting our nation’s economy, providing significant benefits for businesses and consumers, and increasing the confidence of the American people,” Pai wrote.
“It will also help reduce costs for American families and businesses by freeing up capital, cutting down on compliance costs, and providing an opportunity for new businesses and new companies to grow.”
Pai said the US will continue using its existing “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” for data, but he said the FCC is “reviewing” whether to extend those lanes for “other types of internet traffic.”
The US has been a net neutrality supporter, but Pai said this move was “a good first step toward bringing more choice to Americans.”
AT&G, Verizon and CenturyLink also issued a joint statement, saying that while they agree with the FCC’s decision to continue the shutdown, they remain committed to providing “fair and reasonable access” to their customers.