FCC Plans To Dismantle Net Neutrality Rules

FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced the agency’s intention to repeal a 2015 order that prevented broadband and wireless providers from either blocking or slowing down consumer access to content on the web.

The plan aims to completely eliminate the current net neutrality regulations currently in place. Pai confirmed that the vote to nullify the Obama-era net neutrality rules will take place on December 14.

Because there are three Republicans and two Democrats on the commission, and the vote will surely fall on party lines, the scrapping of net neutrality is a likely possibility.

The new proposal, which has been a long time coming, suggests that the federal government will cease "micromanaging the internet," according to Pai. A new rule would see internet service providers required to be "transparent" on their practices only so "consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."

“Additionally, as a result of my proposal, the Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015," Pai added.

He also spoke out against President Obama's implementation of the internet regulations from a few years ago. Under Obama, the FCC treated broadband providers like public utilities, which allowed it complete supervision over the way the internet providers conduct its policies. "Speaking of transparency, when the prior FCC adopted President Obama’s heavy-handed internet regulations, it refused to let the American people see that plan until weeks after the FCC’s vote. This time, it’ll be different," said Pai.

How will it be different? Pai said that he’ll release the proposal that details his plan to restore “internet freedom” tomorrow. He noted that this will be more than three weeks before the vote takes place on December 14.

The aforementioned proposal also states that instead of the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission is the government agency that will oversee the so-called protection of the internet. "Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy," Pai stated.

Net neutrality requires ISPs to treat all internet data as the same regardless where it came from. The FCC's rules, however, have sparked major controversy due to their decision to place broadband providers under the same stringent regulations governing telephone networks.

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  • compprob237
    Just love the weasel words Pai uses.
    "buy the service plan that's best for them"
    Ah, so my choice of one internet service provider means I can either deal with what they have or have no internet. Gotcha.
  • Colin_10
    Has anyone else noticed that a few years ago Commercials on TV got way louder? You could be watching your show at a normal volume and then as it swaps to a commercial suddenly its so loud you scramble for your remote to mute it... Yeah this kind of reminds me of that. I understand why TV companies do this, because people walk away from the TV while it's on commercial, but holy shit is it annoying. This will be the same, things people don't want, aka the commercials and adds will be downloading at max speed, while your desired content will be at a reduced speed. Then when you call ATT and tell them your speed is slower than advertised they direct you to a site they own to test the speed, and low and behold, wow it's just up to their specs!!!! Amazing!
  • 10tacle
    Obama's Net Neutrality was never meant to be what it was intended for: supporting free market competition and increasing consumer choice as well as pulling in the reigns of how much an ISP/cable company controls a certain market. Instead, it was a Trojan Horse for controlling content on the internet. We were close to becoming China with it where the federal government controls what people are allowed to see. If Net Neutrality was done as intended, then we'd never have had ISP and cable mergers under the second term of the Obama administration. Its mission had little to do with preventing Amazon Prime members seeing their streaming service go to a crawl because they had Comcast Xfinity. Classic big government meddling is nothing new of course no matter who is president, but I am glad Net Neutrality (a misnomer if I ever heard of one) is dead.

    And I'll bring up another point: would Net Neutrality have done anything about Google and Facebook targeting their news feeds and search engines based on political stance which they do and are so brash as to deny they do it? Google, Facebook, and Twitter are monopolies by the very definition used by the FTC. They control more than 50% of social media and search engine markets. They can and do impose on their customers restrictions based on their views as to what is and is not "appropriate" to be posted on the internet (and more often than not as we've increasingly witnessed, it's been politically motivated). And the kicker to that is that it is these same institutions who are advocating federal government oversight on internet use and supported NN! I took the red pill, thank you.