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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FCC chairman begins assault on net neutrality rules - CNET

"Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai has started to roll back Obama-era net neutrality regulation, setting up a showdown between tech companies and broadband providers.

In a speech in Washington on Wednesday, Pai outlined his plan for eliminating the utility style regulatory framework the FCC adopted in 2015, while still keeping principles to prevent broadband and wireless providers from favoring their own services over competitors'.

"When the FCC rammed through the Title II Order two years ago ... I voiced my confidence that the Title II Order's days were already numbered," he said during his speech. Pai said this is the first step in making that prediction a reality. "Make no mistake about it: this is a fight that we intend to wage and it is a fight that we are going to win."

Pai began circulating the proposal among the FCC commissioners today and will release it to the public on Thursday. The FCC will vote to formally open the proposal for public comment at the May 18 meeting. Pai expects the FCC to vote on a new set of rules that will return broadband to its "light touch" regulatory framework by the end of the year.

Under his proposal the FCC will throw out the legal underpinnings of the net neutrality order, which reclassified broadband as a so-called Title II utility service under the Communications Act. This means companies, like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, will no longer be subject to stricter regulation.

The agency will also abandon the general conduct rule, which allowed the FCC to look into the business practices of internet service providers on case-by-case basis to ensure they weren't harming competitors or consumers."

FCC chairman begins assault on net neutrality rules - CNET

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