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Main » FCC chief plans to ditch United States 'net neutrality' rules

FCC chief plans to ditch United States 'net neutrality' rules

22 November 2017

US regulators invoked broad powers to ensure that Web traffic for all users is treated equally, adopting net-neutrality rules that supporters say will preserve a wide-open Internet and that opponents vow to fight in court.

The commission is expected to vote on the proposal on Dec.14. Democrats and internet companies said the rules are needed to prevent broadband providers from favoring their business partners' offerings, or their own video and other content.

Telecom and cable companies have said other Internet-based companies, including Google and Netflix, that collect data have an unfair advantage because are only not overseen by the FTC.

In a release, Pai said his proposal would prevent the government from "micromanaging the Internet".

"Businesses large and small will have a clearer path to invest more in our nation's broadband infrastructure under Chairman Pai's leadership", the post continued.

Pai's proposal also notes that regulation of ISPs will be handed over to the Federal Trade Commission instead of the FCC. Earlier in Summer, FCC received over 21 million comments that urgent the agency to preserve the current net neutrality rules (the commission is likely to call a lot of them "fake" as it had made unsubstantiated hacking claims). Then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called it a victory, saying the rules allowed the commission to act as an Internet "referee".


Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception.

That's because the FCC is made up of three Republican and two Democratic commissioners.

A USA appeals court past year upheld the legality of the net neutrality regulations, which were challenged in a lawsuit led by telecommunications industry trade association US Telecom.

"This move would likely lead to consumers paying higher prices for the internet access and speeds they have today", Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union, said in an emailed message. A few months from the time President Trump appointed him, Mr. Pai revealed his intention of scrapping off the rules on claims that they were put in place because of some hypothetic and theoretic harm that was anticipated. Those who criticize the rules say undoing them is good for investment in broadband networks.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulates a draft of a rulemaking to consider retaining, modifying or eliminating the cap that, with the restoration of the UHF discount earlier this year, now enables TV station groups to reach as many as 78% of TV homes. Pai's administration announced its initial review of net neutrality practices over the summer, prompting tech companies like reddit and Netflix to simulate a slower Internet. 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.

FCC chief plans to ditch United States 'net neutrality' rules