July 26, 2017

Broadband Providers Cheer Proposed Net Neutrality Reversal

08 May 2017, 04:20 | Sue Hudson

Democrats are opposed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's call for net neutrality

Democrats are opposed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's call for net neutrality

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to kick off a rewrite of net neutrality rules by undoing the agency's underlying classification of broadband internet service.

His plan is to reclassify Internet service providers as Title I services, prevent the FCC from adapting regulation to future practices, and reopen questions over various aspects of the 2015 rulemaking, including service throttling.

The internet is now regulated under Title II, which was created in the 1930s to regulate the Ma Bell telephone monopoly.

With the Donald Trump presidency came a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Ajit Pai, and he has been hinting at changing how the FCC regulates the industry in ways that will impact net neutrality regulations. He called net neutrality a "black cloud" for internet providers that has caused "less access, fewer American jobs" thanks to declines in infrastructure investments.

In a statement, the guild said that the plan would "undermine" the existing rules and "surrender control of the Internet to a handful of corporations".

Net neutrality has been the subject of legal and political battles for over a decade, with both sides claiming to represent a "free and open" internet.

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The FCC will vote on the proposal on May 18, which will be followed by months of debate as it will be opened for public comment - perhaps the most important process. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), prior to Pai's speech.

"Technological innovation has flourished because of the open nature of the internet".

Pai is introducing his net neutrality plan during a busy week in DC that will likely overshadow the FCC lead's anti-net-neutrality agenda. We were not living in some digital dystopia before the partisan imposition of a massive plan hatched in Washington saved all of us, " Pai said. The group said they protect "consumers from ISPs looking to play gatekeeper or prioritize their own content at the expense of competition online".

The FCC has announced that they will vote on overturning net neutrality rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Pai has championed the deregulation of the Internet and is considering loosening the FCC rules that now prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, or charging more money to certain websites. "Or do we want to embrace the light-touch approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress in 1996, and repeatedly reaffirmed by Democratic and Republican FCCs alike?"

The chairman said the commission is also seeking comment on how to approach "the so-called bright-line rules adopted in 2015". Over 800 tech start-ups, including Engine Advocacy, Y Combinator and Techstars wrote to Pai, asking that net neutrality rules not be reversed.

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