May 10 (UPI) — The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday that net neutrality protections will be removed beginning June 11.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement announcing the Restoring Internet Freedom Order will take effect next month, restoring regulation of Internet services to its state before President Barack Obama’s administration installed the net neutrality protections in 2015.
“On June 11, we will have a framework in place that encourages innovation and investment in our nation’s networks so that all Americans, no matter where they live, can have access to better, cheaper, and faster Internet access and the jobs, opportunities, and platform for free expression that it provides,” Pai said.
In December, the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality regulations for companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast — and no longer treat the Internet providers like a utility.
Pai said the Internet Freedom Order will replace net neutrality rules with strengthened transparency requirements to protect consumers.
“The Federal Trade Commission will once again be empowered to target any unfair or deceptive business practices of Internet service providers and to protect American’s broadband privacy,” he said. “Armed with our strengthened transparency rule, we look forward to working closely with the FTC to safeguard a free and open Internet.”
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel issued a statement of dissent after the date was announced, calling the decision “profoundly disappointing.”
“The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people. It deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined, and ultimately reversed,” Rosenworcel said. “I raised my voice to fight for internet freedom. I’ll keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will too.”
Democratic senators filed a discharge petition Wednesday with the intent of forcing a vote to reverse the net neutrality appeal through the Congressional Review Act.
In January, 21 states filed a petition to block the net neutrality repeal, saying it was illegal and would allow Internet service providers to block certain content, charge more to access certain sites and slow down the service for content providers that don’t pay more.