Pressing Delete On 'Net Neutrality' As Head Of FCC Plans Repeal Vote

  • Pressing Delete On 'Net Neutrality' As Head Of FCC Plans Repeal Vote

Pressing Delete On 'Net Neutrality' As Head Of FCC Plans Repeal Vote

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a President Trump appointee, will seek to remove the regulations that require internet service providers to produce web traffic equally, sources told Politico.

Pai's proposal is the latest step in a years-long tug-of-war over regulations dictating how companies such as AT&T and Comcast allow access to internet content - from Facebook Inc.'s social media site to Netflix Inc.'s streaming videos. However, the new rules are highly expected to pass since Pai's party is controlling three of the Commission's five seats.

In a release, Pai said his proposal would prevent the government from "micromanaging the Internet". He added, "They say that they want the benefits that come from competition".

Pai unveiled a "Restoring Internet Freedom" order to be voted on at the FCC's December 14 meeting, scrapping a hotly contest rule which barred broadband firms from shutting out rival services or creating online "fast" and "slow" lanes.

American consumers are used to thinking of their internet service as a public utility, similar to turning on the tap and getting a consistent stream of water. Other companies, such as Verizon, have exempted their own proprietary apps from mobile data caps in a bid to drive user engagement.

Pai's proposal "represents the end of net neutrality as we know it and defies the will of millions of Americans, " the group's president, Michael Beckerman, said in an email. The FCC granted initial approval to Pai's plan in May, but had left open many key questions including whether to retain any legal requirements limiting internet providers conduct.

The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wasn't joking when he said "this is a fight that we intend to wage, and this is a fight that we are going to win".

Some analysts said that the FCC proposal was appropriate and that there is no economic evidence for regulatory intervention. Think of the web as a highway.

Former Democratic FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who drafted the 2015 net neutrality rules, told The Washington Post "if you like your cable company, you'll love what this does for the Internet".

The Internet Association, a trade group with members including Netflix, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com Inc., said "This proposal undoes almost two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans' ability to access the entire internet".

The Internet Association had also said that the repeal will actually harm investment in the tech industry as "in a world without net neutrality protections, startups would face discrimination from ISP owned or preferred content that's granted a speed advantage through paid prioritization".

Comcast said no matter what the FCC decided it would "not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content". "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy".