FCC vote kicks off a battle over regulation of the internet

19 May, 2017, 08:13 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Net Neutrality: Before the Vote

Adopted on February 26, 2015, the FCC's Open Internet rules protect and maintain open, uninhibited access to legal online content without broadband Internet access providers being allowed to block, impair, or establish fast/slow lanes to lawful content.

"If ratified, this will deeply damage the Federal Trade Commission's ability to be a champion of consumers and competition in the 21 century".

Pai, a well-known critic of the 2015 net neutrality rules, said that today, the agency plans to "conduct a credible cost-benefit analysis of our policy decisions". The internet has become a core part of modern society, and Robinson's statement probably won't be the only one warning about the broader implications of deregulating USA internet providers.

In those same remarks, however, Pai made it clear what he thought of the FCC's adoption of Net Neutrality regulations in 2015. The commission will vote today to accept a proposal by Chairman Ajit Pai entitled "Restoring Internet Freedom".

The FCC is open to comments regarding the NPRM until August 16, when it will then make its final decision. Chairman Pai has repeatedly insisted that broadband investment has declined since the rules went into effect two years ago, but Commissioner Clyburn is not convinced.

The commission says the move is created to modernize rules and foster competition, innovation and investment in the media marketplace.

The debate over the future of the internet has received less attention than it did in 2015, with many focused on other issues such as President Donald Trump's May 9 firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director Jim Comey and its aftermath.

Meredith Attwell Baker of the CTIA, an association of wireless carriers, said the new framework "will promote billions of dollars of investment, millions of jobs and future innovation". "They are ensuring consumers and businesses have access to a fast, fair, and open Internet", according to the FCC's website.

The proposed rule would remove the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service governed by Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which gives the FCC broad powers to regulate internet service providers. Pai's plan would roll back this classification, which could result in ISPs being once again placed under the much weaker Title I regulations.

With net neutrality supporters, including Sen.

The FCC will now open the NPRM up for public debate, with net neutrality advocates and Democratic lawmakers expected to impose aggressive pushback against the rules change.

The rules changes are likely to pass the FCC, where Pai leads a 2-1 Republican majority. HBO host John Oliver has been urging viewers to comment on the FCC's website in support of the existing rules.

Net neutrality basically means that ISPs must treat all internet traffic as equals.

"If you have an overwhelming record in favor of retaining these rules, it's something the FCC has to consider and something a court is going to look at, if you believe it will ultimately go to court", Sohn tells CNNTech.


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