FCC votes 2-1 to advance repeal of Obama-era internet rules

Posted May 19, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission is holding an open meeting Thursday to hear and consider a number of issues as part of Chairman Ajit Pai's pilot program to make FCC rulings more transparent.

Today the FCC voted to officially propose an order that would eliminate net neutrality rules as we know them.

But others worry such rules were a heavy-handed effort to reclassify internet providers as utilities, and would discourage investment in the fast-evolving sector. The FCC is now led by Chairman Ajit Pai who is now in the process of undoing the regulations that Democrat predecessors implemented and what Judicial Watch generally wants to know more about. The commission will vote today to accept a proposal by Chairman Ajit Pai entitled "Restoring Internet Freedom".

Once the comment period closes later this year, the FCC will go through the feedback it received over the 90-day period and prepare a final proposal.

Yet Thursday's vote does not mean current net neutrality rules have been repealed just yet. "With this expansive authority, the FCC could investigate any provider for offering the public virtually any service that the agency might find problematic", Pai said, adding that is exactly what happened when the Tom Wheeler-led FCC began investigating zero-rate plans past year. She said she "vociferously dissented" because the move puts at risk the ability of Americans to "run your online business, access content over the Internet and exercise free speech without your service provider or anyone else getting in the way". The letter urges these leaders to support and continue to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order and to oppose legislative and regulatory actions that would threaten the strong net neutrality rules already in place.

Take net neutrality protections away - and internet providers can start slowing speeds -- they can force websites like Netflix to pay them for better quality and access. "The FCC is simply seeking comment on these proposals".

Backing Clyburn after the vote were a number of net neutrality advocates, including National Hispanic Media Coalition and Gigi Sohn, who served as Counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from 2013 to 2016. Last week Oliver did a segment on net neutrality and asked his fans to comment on the FCC's site supporting the rules. Pai's plan would roll back this classification, which could result in ISPs being once again placed under the much weaker Title I regulations.

Comcast and Charter Communications, the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 broadband providers, hailed the FCC's move in statements released after the vote.

She also questioned whether broadband investment was the appropriate measure for determining the impact of broadband reclassification and Net Neutrality. He also called for net-neutrality legislation from Congress. Support for the rules has broad, bipartisan support, and if Pai and friends want to kill them, they're going to have to fight tooth and nail against the will of the public, the courts, and common sense to do it.