FCC Chairman working to eliminate net neutrality

Lloyd Doyle
November 22, 2017

The New York Times claimed repealing the rules, which for the first time in history classified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as public utilities, giving the government broad regulatory power, is "putting more power in the hands of those companies to dictate people's online experiences". The internet must be open, fair, and competitive for all users, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced he had circulated among the members of the commission a draft version of his Restoring Internet Freedom Order. According him, the "FCC bowed to pressure" from President Barack Obama in 2015 and approved net neutrality rules on the internet.

In a Wall Street Journal editorial published Tuesday, Pai cited a report by a nonprofit think tank, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, that said investment by the dozen largest ISPs fell about 2 percent from 2015 to 2016, to $61 billion. The FCC chairman stated that his order "would abandon this failed approach".

"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet", Pai said in a statement. Instead, he said new rules would force ISPs to be transparent about their services and management policies, and then would let the market decide.

Wheeler went on to say, "The job of the FCC is to represent the consumer".

"Tomorrow, the FCC will release a draft order that will bring to an end this country's brief and ill-conceived experiment with heavy-handed regulation of the internet".

Commissioner Brendan Carr expressed his support for the order. "This proposal undoes almost two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans' ability to access the entire internet". Pai said he had not shared his plans on the rollback with the White House in advance or been directed to undo net neutrality by White House officials. This is ridiculous and offensive to the millions of Americans who use the internet every day. "And it gave us an internet economy that became the envy of the world", he said. "What they are telling me is not that their ISP is blocking access to lawful content, it's that they don't have access at all, or that they don't have enough competition".

The proposal would also shift some enforcement responsibility to the Federal Trade Commission, which can sue companies for violating the commitments or statements they have made to the public.

On Tuesday, Verizon praised Pai's proposal to "restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for internet services".

A repeal also opens the ability for ISPs to charge a company like Netflix for a faster path to its customers.

The decision will be put to a vote at the agency's December 14 meeting in Washington. He said his own company wouldn't be dramatically affected in the near term, but the nascent robotics industry overall might.

In May 2017, researchers and reporters discovered that the FCC's public comment process was being corrupted by the submission of enormous numbers of fake comments concerning the possible repeal of net neutrality rules. Pai served as an associate general counsel at Verizon for two years.

Beckerman said the current protections "guarantee consumers access to the entire internet and preserve competition online" while Pai's proposal "fails to achieve" any of those objectives. Likening them to foreign campaigns used to interfere with US elections, Schneiderman argues the comments could give the wrong impression of the public's attitude toward the FCC's heavily-criticized proposal to repeal net neutrality. It ignores the will of people from across the political spectrum who overwhelmingly support these protections.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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