FCC chief lays out attack on 'net neutrality' rules

Brittany BishopApr 27, 2017

"When I invented the web, I didn't have to ask anyone for permission, and neither did America's successful internet entrepreneurs when they started their businesses", said Web foundation founder Tim Berners-Lee.

"The internet is evidence of the unparalleled heights that a true free market can reach", Ryan said.

But, Pai is confident of winning yet another battle for internet providers.

"Chairman Pai's announcement that the FCC will roll back these regulations is welcome news", Ryan said in a statement. The commission will make a provisional vote on Pai's plan on May 18th, after which a period of public comment will follow. But he goes on to say that Title II was "illogical" and "stifling". "That Clinton-era framework is something I think served us well and going forward I hope it continues to serve us well".

Proponents of net neutrality, such as Sen.

Evan Greer, the campaign director of Fight for the Future, described net neutrality as the "first amendment of the internet". But policy analysts say that would be a high-risk, high-reward strategy that could quickly run into legal challenges from supporters of net neutrality desperate to preserve the existing rules.

Pai is not just looking to undo the previous change that made broadband internet a utility - he wants to remove the FCC's role entirely.

The rules approved by the FCC in 2015 prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a "fast lane", to certain internet services over others. Millions of Americans as well as internet companies, startups and innovators have supported the order. That's what they were considered prior to the current rules, which the then-majority-Democrat FCC passed along party lines in 2015.

"Nothing about the internet was broken in 2015", Paid said, speaking at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

"Ending net neutrality would be a body blow to the open dialogue upon which successful self-government depends".

Pai also argued that by rolling back the government oversight, the competition would encourage ISPs to spend more on their broadband networks and increase high-speed internet access across the United States. He was elevated to chair the agency by President Trump in January.

One exception is video-sharing site Vimeo, which did specifically call out Title II in its statement deriding Pai's intention to repeal net neutrality regulations. Americans want the Internet to remain a platform for all consumers, content creators, and innovators, regardless of their ability to pay infrastructure owners special fees for special access.

Gutting net neutrality, as Pai proposes, opens the way for telecommunications giants to colonize the internet in the same way that they have broadcast and cable platforms-replacing civic and democratic values with commercial and entertainment dictates.

Pai was vague in his speech on how the FCC would enforce net neutrality without Title II. Public utility regulation is inappropriate for a digital broadband marketplace that is competitive and dynamic. Nor has the Open Internet Order stifled innovation or investment.

Pai said the move would be the "best" way to protect online privacy because it would give the Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction over broadband companies and their privacy practices.

"This proposal is Washington policymaking at its worst - an alignment of government regulators with dominant industry interests", said Ryan Clough, general counsel for Public Knowledge.

Opponents of the FCC's regulation also argue that the 2015 decision to classify ISPs as "common carriers" similar to telephone companies violates the FCC's congressional charter and has deterred ISPs from upgrading their networks for fear of direct price regulation by the agency.

It's no surprise that the big USA carriers support the decision to remove Title II classification.

ISPs have put up roadblocks for consumers when given the opportunity.

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