FCC Kicks Off Effort To Roll Back Net Neutrality Rules

It’s game on in the fight over net neutrality.

In a 2-to-1 vote along party lines today, the FCC authorized a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to undo the 2015 decision to enforce open internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act. That empowers the agency to regulate the medium as a common carrier similar to phones.

The FCC will seek public comment for 90 days — up to August 16 — and could vote on the matter as early as October.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made it clear that he wants to go back to Title I, which gives the agency less clout to regulate internet service providers. The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. overturned the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules saying that regulators lacked the authority to act under Title I.

“The internet was not broken in 2015,” Pai said today. “We were not living in a digital dystopia.”

His predecessor, Tom Wheeler, promoted Title II under “partisan pressure from the White House” and imposed “heavy handed” regulations on cable and phone internet providers, he says. That led some ISPs to hesitate to “build or expand networks.”

The FCC’s lone Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, rejects that argument….continue reading

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