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Science / Tech News

Last Update on February 27, 2015 08:08 GMT

IN THE NEWS: FCC LAUNCHES NET NEUTRALITY RULES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For many people, having Internet access is about as important as access to telephone or electric service. And now, the federal government has taken steps to have access to broadband service regulated in a way similar to those other utilities. The Federal Communications Commission has decided that any company that provides a broadband connection to your home or phone must act in the "public interest." They are also barred from using unjust or unreasonable business practices. The new rules are aimed at preventing ISPs from striking deals with content providers like Netflix or Twitter to move their data faster. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calls the decision "a red-letter day for Internet freedom."

IN THE NEWS: ARIZONA'S OUTAGE AND FALLOUT

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- For people in northern Arizona, Wednesday's Internet outage was an inconvenience. But for the rest of us, it should serve as a wake-up call. The interruption of service gave us an idea at how dependent we have are on technology. The outage meant computers, cell phones and landlines went out. Also affected were ATMs, 911 systems -- and the ability of businesses to process credit card transactions. The problem was traced to vandals who cut a fiber-optic Internet cable buried in the desert. But it also raised questions about how vulnerable the Internet infrastructure is -- at a time when people are more reliant on it as never before. Police are investigating the vandalism.

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