“One obvious problem with anything out of the FCC on what has become such a hyperpartisan topic is that it can so easily be reversed by the next (Democratic) FCC”, he added.
The proposed rules, up for a vote among the five FCC commissioners on December 14, call for internet service providers, presently designated as Title II utilities, to be reclassified under the Communications Act of 1934 and its subsequent amendments as Title I information services.
“For nearly twenty years, the Internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress”, the statement from Chairman Pai reads. “We also commend the imposition of a transparency rule that requires ISPs to disclose their net neutrality practices to consumers”.
While the voting is expected to happen along party lines, million of citizens on both sides of the political spectrum have voiced their support for net neutrality regulations, writing to the FCC to share their opinion.
The FCC said Tuesday that it will revisit key regulations determining how many TV stations a single company can own.
Last year, Tennessee’s then-Rural Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said, “We have an incredible digital divide between our rural communities and our urban communities”.
“We haven’t actually lived in a world where fully the ISPs could block access”, Denelle Dixon, chief legal and business officer at Mozilla, told NPR in the summer when Pai’s plan began taking shape. It hands broadband providers the power to decide what voices to amplify, which sites we can visit, what connections we can make, and what communities we create. “What they are telling me is not that their ISP is blocking access to lawful content, it’s that they don’t have access at all, or that they don’t have enough competition”.
On Tuesday, Verizon praised Pai’s proposal to “restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for internet services”. For one, the company has been a prominent critic of the current net neutrality rules, and stands to benefit if they’re dismantled.
The proposal goes to a vote on December 14.
By dismantling net neutrality, ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon could potentially block or throttle content from rivals, or from companies that don’t pay a certain fine.
Pai announced plans to review existing rules that prevent broadcast companies from owning TV stations that reach more than 39% of all TV households in the United States.
Technology giants are expecting to lobby furiously against the FCC’s plan, setting up a heavyweight fight between Silicon Valley giants and telecommunications conglomerates – two of the most well-heeled industries in the country. Pai served as an associate general counsel at Verizon for two years.
Matt Wood, policy director for the advocacy group Free Press, likened the proposed system to the way that many companies design their privacy policies.
Net neutrality is absolutely the kind of tech jargon that puts people to sleep, I know, but please stay with me, because upcoming changes to net neutrality rules have broad implications for growth and well-being in communities like McMinn and Meigs counties. The 2015 rules were the first version to be upheld in court in full.