The End of the Internet? Net Neutrality Three Years On

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Posted: Oct 13, 2020 10:00 AM

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Back in 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) which provided “a framework for protecting an open internet while paving the way for better, faster, and cheaper internet access for all consumers.” Shortly after the proposals were approved, CNN famously proclaimed the decision was the “end of the internet as we know it.” John Oliver’s segment on Last Week Tonight covering RIFO led 150,000 Americans to file comments opposing the new rules.

The previous rules, which were imposed just two years before, required internet services to be treated in the same regulatory manner as a 1930s-style public utilities (referred to as Title II regulations) and required Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to “treat all internet traffic the same.” Classifying ISPs under Title II regulations also allowed the federal government to “supervise their rates and practices, force them to provide service and ban practices that it decides are unjust or unreasonable.” The new rules reclassified internet services as an information services, as opposed to common carriers, while adding numerous consumer protections. 

Despite CNN’s apocalyptic claims and the substantial grassroots campaign satire comedians unleashed, three years after the proposals were released the internet is not only still functioning, but it is more accessible than ever. 

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, access to fast and reliable internet has never been more important. The positive outcomes for consumers stemming from RIFO illustrates why the FCC should continue in its desire to replace “heavy-handed regulations” with “common-sense rules that will promote investment and broadband deployment.”

A recent study by the Pew Research Center highlights the significant improvement in access to broadband internet after RIFO. In

Exclusive: HSBC targets net zero emissions by 2050, earmarks $1 trillion green financing

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC HSBA.L will target net zero carbon emissions across its entire customer base by 2050 at the latest, and provide between $750 billion and $1 trillion in financing to help clients make the transition, its Chief Executive Noel Quinn told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: HSBC logo is seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

In the strongest statement by Europe’s biggest bank on climate change to date, its CEO outlined HSBC’s ambitions to align its activities with the Paris Agreement.

“COVID has been a wake-up call to us all, including me personally, we have seen how fragile the global economy is to a major event, in this case a health event, and it brings home the reality of what a major climate event could do,” Quinn told Reuters in a video interview.

HSBC aims to achieve net zero in its own operations by 2030, he added.

While other UK banks such as NatWest NWG.L have already set similar net-zero goals, HSBC’s aim to achieve it across its huge Asia-focused client base is one of the most significant pledges made by a global lender to date.

However, the bank will be closely watched for how quickly and fully it pursues its new goals, which are mainly stated as ‘aims’ rather than hard commitments.

It will also face scrutiny on whether it has allowed itself leeway to continue financing some fossil fuel-linked clients, especially in developing markets.

HSBC has come under increasing pressure from activists, shareholders and politicians who say it is contributing to climate change by financing fossil fuel and other environmentally harmful projects.

Quinn said the bank is focused on expanding its capital markets-focused carbon transition policies, to a broader one encompassing all its activities across financing,

HSBC targets net zero emissions by 2050, earmarks $1 trillion green financing

By Lawrence White, Sinead Cruise and Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC will target net zero carbon emissions across its entire customer base by 2050 at the latest, and provide between $750 billion and $1 trillion in financing to help clients make the transition, its Chief Executive Noel Quinn told Reuters.

In the strongest statement by Europe’s biggest bank on climate change to date, its CEO outlined HSBC’s ambitions to align its activities with the Paris Agreement.

“COVID has been a wake-up call to us all, including me personally, we have seen how fragile the global economy is to a major event, in this case a health event, and it brings home the reality of what a major climate event could do,” Quinn told Reuters in a video interview.

HSBC aims to achieve net zero in its own operations by 2030, he added.

While other UK banks such as NatWest have already set similar net-zero goals, HSBC’s aim to achieve it across its huge Asia-focused client base is one of the most significant pledges made by a global lender to date.

However, the bank will be closely watched for how quickly and fully it pursues its new goals, which are mainly stated as ‘aims’ rather than hard commitments.

It will also face scrutiny on whether it has allowed itself leeway to continue financing some fossil fuel-linked clients, especially in developing markets.

HSBC has come under increasing pressure from activists, shareholders and politicians who say it is contributing to climate change by financing fossil fuel and other environmentally harmful projects.

Quinn said the bank is focused on expanding its capital markets-focused carbon transition policies, to a broader one encompassing all its activities across financing, asset management, and corporate and retail banking.

“What we have given the market is an ambition that