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FCC Chairman Circulates Draft Order to Repeal Current Net Neutrality Provisions

21 Nov, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai Nov. 21 formally circulated to fellow commission members a draft order intended to scuttle net neutrality guidelines imposed by the government under the Obama Administration. The order will be voted on at the FCC’s open meeting on Dec. 14.

If the net neutrality provisions are overturned, it would mark a victory for Internet Service Providers such as Comcast and AT&T, which would no longer would be required to treat all Internet traffic equally.

Pai, who was appointed FCC chairman by President Trump, has long argued net neutrality was imposed due to pressure from Obama and unfairly regulates the Internet.

“For almost 20 years, the Internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress. This bipartisan framework led the private sector to invest $1.5 trillion building communications networks throughout the United States. And it gave us an Internet economy that became the envy of the world,” Pai said in a statement.

Pai said repeal of net neutrality guidelines would stop the federal government from micromanaging the Internet.

“Instead, the FCC would simply require ISPs to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate,” he wrote.

Critics, notably civil liberty groups, contend rollback of the net neutrality provisions would hurt consumers, with well-heeled ISPs enacting broadband fast and slow lanes for third-party over-the-top video services dependent on price and competitive advantage.

Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, said net neutrality is a free speech fight of “our generation” and that Internet users are “pissed off” and “paying attention.”

“Ajit Pai may be owned by Verizon, but he has to answer to Congress, and lawmakers have to answer to us, their constituents,” Greer said in a statement.




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