FCC Will Repeal Net Neutrality – December 14th The Roll Back Starts

Posted by at 10:34 am on November 21, 2017

It’s official. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially  stated on December 14th it will roll back the net neutrality rules that were ushered in under former Chairman Tom Wheeler. A procedural vote was held earlier this year paved that the way for this dramatic action to be taken by the FCC.

Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai claims that dismantling net neutrality rules is a pro-business move that will be boon for innovation and in fact, he calls his plan the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order“. In his opinion, regulation of the internet should be handled with a “light touch” with fewer, rather than more regulations.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet,” said Pai. “Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers 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.”

Pai says that the FCC will once again cede power of overseeing internet regulations — including consumer privacy — to the Federal Trade Commission.

“The Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015,” added Pai. “Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy.”

Net neutrality rules were put in place to make sure that all internet traffic was placed on a level playing field and treated equally. With roll back ISPs can now change fees to contain makers and give speed rankings to those who can make for it. This could lead to chaos in the marketplace that favors big companies and squeezes out smaller players.

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn fears this new “pro business” model, which she expressed in her heated response to what she calls Pai’s “Pre-Holiday News Dump”.

“But as we learned today the FCC majority is about to deliver a cornucopia full of rotten fruit, stale grains, and wilted flowers topped off with a plate full of burnt turkey,” said a scathing Clyburn. “Their Destroying Internet Freedom Order would dismantle net neutrality as we know it by giving the green light to our nation’s largest broadband providers to engage in anti-consumer practices, including blocking, slowing down traffic, and paid prioritization of online applications and services.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition released the following statement from Carmen Scurato, director of policy and legal affairs:

“Repealing Net Neutrality is no small matter, especially for Latinos and people of color who already face substantial barriers in getting online, staying online and having high quality Internet. Despite the obstacles, we strive to tell our stories, build businesses, learn, get jobs, express ourselves, and organize online. Today, the Trump FCC is telling Latinos and other consumers that their voices will only be heard as far as their wallets can carry them, by paving the way for paid prioritization. Shifting responsibility for resolving consumer issues to the Federal Trade Commission, which currently lacks the jurisdiction and resources to effectively handle them, is a sad statement of what the FCC stands for today–corporations over consumers. 

“We now have evidence that the consumer rules and process initiated by the 2015 Open Internet Order ushered in a new and welcomed accountability from ISPs to their customers, where the FCC had to listen and carriers had to respond. As we’ve seen through the documents released under NHMC’s FOIA request, the FCC would rather sit on this evidence than put it to good use in making better policy to benefit millions of Americans. We join with consumers and other public interest advocates in pressuring the full Commission to reject this dangerous proposal to make sure these vital consumer protections remain in place.”

 

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