Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Ajit Pai explains how and why the FCC will kill Net Neutrality

They were favored by websites who said they would guarantee equal access to the internet to all but opposed by internet service providers, who said they could eventually result in rate regulation, inhibit innovation and make it harder to manage traffic. The following statement should be attributed to Kathy Grillo, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, public policy and government affairs: 'Verizon supports net neutrality. The FCC has already started chipping away at net neutrality beginning with the repeal of other internet regulations.

Calling them a mistake, he said the commission will vote on May 18 to "return to the light-touch regulatory framework that served our nation so well during the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and the first six years of the Obama administration".

Net neutrality says all traffic on the internet must be treated equally.

The even grittier details: Pai's proposal would reverse the reclassification of broadband service and explore in an open-ended way how to replace the 2015 rules, according to multiple sources.

During a speech Wednesday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined a plan to reduce the government's oversight of high-speed internet providers.

"Upon my @FCC departure, I would like to sign off with 3 words of wisdom that guided me well: competition, competition, competition", Tom Wheeler, the Obama-appointed FCC chairman, had said while leaving the office.

Pai said the move would be the "best" way to protect online privacy because it would give the Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction over broadband companies and their privacy practices.

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The FCC needs a quorum to approve items and now is down to three commissioners:, Pai, fellow Republican and Title II reclassification opponent Michael O'Rielly and Clyburn. Now, he's pledging to undo them, swapping in voluntary, self-governed "We'll keep an eye on us" promises from companies instead.

The rules were meant to ensure an open Internet.

"Our companies should be able to compete with incumbents on the quality of our products and services, not our capacity to pay tolls to Internet access providers", the letter said.

The new rule making also would eliminate part of the existing net neutrality rule that gives the FCC broad authority over internet providers' conduct, a provision that Mr. Pai termed "a roving mandate to micromanage the internet".

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts released a statement fully supporting the reversal of the Title II net neutrality rule. "No", Pai said in his speech. After that, the agency would collect comments from the public and the stakeholders before crafting a detailed approach and scheduling another agency vote to adopt it.

The group represents Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., and its leaders met with Pai this month to stress their "vigorous support" for the 2015 Open Internet order. Ed Markey (R-MA), said at a news conference before Pai's announcement. But because this is a partisan issue with Republicans having a 2-to-1 majority on the commission, his plan is likely to pass.

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