Information operations · Information Warfare

FCC plans total repeal of net neutrality rules


By MARGARET HARDING MCGILL

11/20/2017 07:17 PM EST
Updated 11/20/2017 07:58 PM EST

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to his fellow commissioners on Tuesday to fully dismantle the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality regulations, people familiar with the plans said, in a major victory for the telecom industry in the long-running policy debate.

The commission will vote on the proposal in December, some seven months after it laid the groundwork for scuttling the rules that require internet service providers like Comcast or AT&T to treat web traffic equally.

President Donald Trump-appointed Pai’s plan would jettison rules that prohibit internet service providers from blocking or slowing web traffic or creating so-called paid internet fast lanes, the people familiar with the changes said.

Pai also will follow through on his plans to scrap the legal foundation that the FCC’s old Democratic majority adopted in 2015 to tighten federal oversight of internet service providers, a move he contends has deterred the industry from investing in broadband networks. Internet providers have feared that legal foundation, if left in place, could set the stage for possible government price regulation of internet service.

The chairman’s approach, to be voted on at the FCC’s Dec. 14 meeting, would also get rid of the so-called general conduct standard, which gives the FCC authority to police internet service providers behavior it deems unreasonable.

The plan includes transparency rules that would require internet service providers to inform their customers about their practices on issues such as blocking and throttling. Major internet providers, including Comcast, have publicly said they will not block or throttle web traffic.

The FCC will look to another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, to police whether internet service providers are acting in an anticompetitive manner.

An FCC spokesman declined comment on the plan.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/20/net-neutrality-repeal-fcc-251824

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