Net neutrality is dead in the U.S. Disney’s $52 billion deal to purchase Fox has huge implications for its future streaming service. And Norway has become the first country in the world to switch off its national FM radio.

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Trending on Reddit and Twitter, net neutrality is officially on its deathbed in the U.S. As expected, the five-director Federal Communication Commission’s three Republican commissioners, led by FCC chair Ajit Pai, voted in favour of repeal, despite lengthy speeches by Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, and last-minute letters from two non-Democratic senators, Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King, Jr. Critics say the decision will allow American internet service providers to throttle or favour specific content at will, provided their actions are disclosed in a legal document such as a user agreement, though it will take a few months before the repeal officially reaches the Federal Register and becomes law.

Trending on Facebook, Reddit, Google, Twitter, and ITWC’s Toronto office, Disney has purchased most of 20th Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $52.4 billion USD, a move that will have huge implications for the streaming service it plans to launch in 2019. The deal includes Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks, and international TV businesses, which means Disney’s future Netflix competitor will have easy access to everything from The Simpsons and Modern Family, to Fox titles such as The Martian and the original Star Wars, to Disney-ready franchises Avatar, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. No wonder Netflix expects half its library to be original content by the end of next year.

Finally, on Facebook and Twitter, Norway has become the first country in the world to switch off its national FM radio signals. From Thursday onward, the country’s national stations are now digital-only, with residents forced to buy receivers or adapters, which according to Agent France-Presse typically sell for between €100 and €200, if they want to keep listening. It’s worth noting that the equivalent in Canada would be the CBC and Virgin Radio becoming digital-only; most of Norway’s local stations will continue broadcasting in FM.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.



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