×

FCC Chairman to Seek Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules (Report)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai next month will seek to repeal net neutrality rules that require that major internet providers treat all traffic equally, according to a report from Politico on Monday.

Pai has the votes on the FCC to roll back the rules, along with the regulatory foundation that gave the FCC the authority to impose them in 2015.

The news of the proposal — expected to be unveiled on Tuesday — drew immediate criticism from public interest groups. They warn that the removal of the regulations will invite telecom companies to block or throttle traffic, or to sell “fast lanes” to internet providers willing to pay for speedier access to the consumer. Fight for the Future, which has been waging a campaign to preserve the rules, has been warning that Pai will seek to eliminate most of the rules altogether.

According to Politico, the proposal will preserve a rule that requires that major internet providers disclose practices that block or throttle content.

The FCC will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on Dec. 14.

Pai will also seek to roll back the FCC’s classification of internet service as a common carrier. That action, taken in 2015, gave the agency the legal footing to impose tough net neutrality rules governing how ISPs handle their traffic.

He had said that the FCC would vote on net neutrality by the end of this year, so it is no surprise that it would come up at its next meeting. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat and advocate for the current rules, on Monday began to tweet out stories from individuals about why net neutrality was important to them.

Gigi Sohn, who was counselor to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from 2013 to 2016, wrote in a statement that “if adopted, the basic protections that consumers and innovators rely on to protect them from the anti-competitive and anti-consumer behaviors of huge broadband providers like Comcast and AT&T will be cooked.”

“In a few short weeks, the big broadband providers will be free to double their prices, extract extra tolls on fast lanes for online businesses, and track and sell their customers’ web browsing activity,” wrote Sohn, now a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy. “When they’re done, what will remain of consumer protection on the Internet will be nothing more than a carcass.”

An FCC spokesperson had no comment.

The FCC vote is expected to be challenged in court. Proponents of net neutrality are expected to argue that there was little rationale for the FCC to reverse itself just two years after imposing the rules.

More Politics

  • Portrait of author and writer Paul

    Paul Krassner, Satirist, Yippies Co-Founder and Counter-Culture Figure, Dies at 87

    Satirist, publisher, author and American counter-culture figure Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21. He was 87. His daughter Holly Krassner Dawson, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Born in New York City on April 9, 1932, Krassner eventually moved to Southern California where he lived with [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Donate

    Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Join Hollywood's Buttigieg Bandwagon

    Pete Buttigieg has built a devoted following in Hollywood over the last few months, helping him lead the Democratic field in fundraising for the second quarter. In a filing released Monday night, Buttigieg disclosed contributions from a bunch of bold-faced names, including Jennifer Aniston, Tig Notaro and Larry David. Buttigieg held numerous fundraisers in the [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk — and success — hanging [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein Bail Decision Delayed, More Accusers Coming Forward

    Jeffrey Epstein won’t find out if he’s going to be released on bail until July 18, even as prosecutors argued that the multimillionaire businessman presents a flight risk and could endanger his accusers unless he remains in jail. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Monday, Epstein’s legal team said their client is willing [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    FTC Approves $5 Billion Fine Against Facebook for Privacy Violations

    The Federal Trade Commission voted to fine Facebook around $5 billion for violations of the FTC’s consumer-privacy rules, according to multiple media reports — the biggest privacy-related fine in the commission’s history. The $5 billion figure may be a record-breaker, but it represents less than Facebook reported in net profit ($5.43 billion) for the first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content