Sunday, 19 November, 2017

FCC Chair Proposes Repealing 'Political' Net Neutrality Rules

Craig Ferguson | 28 April, 2017, 02:00

The centerpiece of the plan is undoing the FCC's 2015 decision to classify internet services providers as Title II telecommunications services, and going back to classifying them as a Title 1 information service.

The commission plans to seek comment on new rules - including how to address questions such as paid prioritization for some traffic - in the coming months.

Markey, in a conference call with net neutrality advocates and U.S. Sens.

Why does the new FCC want to repeal net neutrality rules?

"It's obviously been an incredible few months in our industry, and there's clearly a return to a lighter-touch, pro-growth regulatory philosophy", said Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, on an earnings call yesterday. Pai notably said that he intends the whole process of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to be handled in the open, with public hearings and open discussions, starting with the release of a formal "Notice of Proposed Rule Making" on April 27.

"The debate of the last decade has never really been about 'net neutrality, ' but the FCC's sweeping claims of power over the Internet", Berin Szóka, president of TechFreedom, said in a Wednesday statement.

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The neutrality rules, Brake said, created "a messy regulatory framework that we should shed", which effectively made the internet "a heavily regulated public utility".

Former chairman Tom Wheeler implemented net neutrality rules in 2015.

Pai also has mulled replacing the FCC rules with voluntary commitments from ISPs not to block or slow Internet traffic to customers. Title II is something like the foundation of the current net-neutrality rules. That will be voted on at the commission's May 18 meeting. However, with Republicans controlling a majority of the FCC's seats, it's likely that Pai will get everything he wants, and then some.

"I am confident that the millions of Americans who weighed in with the FCC in support of the open internet order will once again make their voices heard to demonstrate how wrongheaded this approach is", said Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer. Over 800 tech start-ups, including Engine Advocacy, Y Combinator and Techstars wrote to Pai, asking that net neutrality rules not be reversed. The rules were meant to ensure an open internet, meaning that no content could be blocked by broadband providers and that the internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Pai said he hopes to have his plan formally approved by the end of the calendar year. Numerous internet companies have already come out against Pai's proposal, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Netflix.

According to the Guardian, some activists, however, have hinted at "a tsunami of resistance from a grassroots movement of Americans from every walk of life".

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