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Net Neutrality

Today Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan to roll back net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration in 2015.

The FCC currently regulates Internet Service Providers as “common carriers” under Title II regulations developed in the 1930’s that treat the internet as a public utility. Pai proposes a FCC vote on May 18th to kick-off a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for public debate between ISPs, Silicon Valley tech giants, consumer groups, as well as other interested parties.

From Pai’s remarks today, he has three specific goals:

  1. Eliminate the Title II regulations for the internet and move back to a Title I classification which was used successfully for 20 years,

  2. Eliminate the Internet Conduct Standard and associated rules, and

  3. Move privacy protection from the FCC back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Pai also commented on the policy issues the FCC will address during the NPRM:

  1. Need higher speed access to more Americans, included rural areas,

  2. Create more U.S. jobs,

  3. Boost competition and provide lighter touch regulation, and

  4. Continue to protect privacy.

The NPRM is a very good step for reassessing and debating net neutrality and privacy rules. We will maintain focus on this very important issue in upcoming months.

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