…as FCC votes to kill Title II rules; GOP’s 2-1 majority starts repeal process, with final vote coming later in 2017, arstechnica.com
The Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 today to start the process of eliminating net neutrality rules and the classification of home and mobile Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes eliminating the Title II classification and seeks comment on what, if anything, should replace the current net neutrality rules. But Chairman Ajit Pai is making no promises about reinstating the two-year-old net neutrality rules that forbid ISPs from blocking or throttling lawful Internet content or prioritizing content in exchange for payment. Pai’s proposal argues that throttling websites and applications might somehow help Internet users.
The FCC plans to take comments on its plan until August 16 (the docket is available here) and then make a final decision sometime after that.
The net neutrality rules were approved in February 2015 when Republicans were in the commission’s minority. Today, Pai and fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly voted in favor of the plan to eliminate the rules while Democrat Mignon Clyburn voted to preserve them.
“The Internet was not broken in 2015” before the rules were imposed, Pai said today before the vote. “We were not living in a digital dystopia. Nonetheless, the FCC that year succumbed to partisan pressure from the White House and changed course.” The rules imposed new regulatory burdens on ISPs both large and small, he said. The Title II rules also raised “the possibility of broadband rate regulation,” making ISPs hesitate before building or expanding networks, he said.” (the depressing rest is here), including:
“Pro-net neutrality group Free Press recently published an updated list of alleged net neutrality violations by ISPs through the years.”