Report: FCC Chairman Pai Planning a Fast Repeal of Net Neutrality

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP/Susan Walsh

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai plans a quick repeal of the controversial net neutrality order and wants to replace it with lighter regulations intended to preserve an open internet.

Chairman Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met with telecommunications groups on Tuesday to discuss his plans .

The net neutrality order, created by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler back in early 2015, regulates the internet similar to a public monopoly. Net neutrality prohibited telecommunications companies from creating internet “fast lanes” that would ensure consistent Skype video chat, and high-resolution Netflix streaming.

At the meeting, Pai suggested that internet service providers voluntarily agree to certain practices preserving an open internet. The Federal Trade Commission would then enforce compliance of these rules.

Industry sources state that the FCC will unveil its plan to eliminate net neutrality as early as late April, a vote could come in May or June.

Internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon argued that net neutrality made it harder to manage web traffic and curtailed broadband investment. Net neutrality advocates worry that internet service providers might unfairly discriminate content.

In December, Chairman Pai stated that net neutrality’s days were numbered. He said that he believes “in a free and open internet and the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that.”


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