FCC Chief plans to ditch US 'net neutrality' rules

The head of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States uncovered plans on Tuesday to repeal landmark 2015 rules that banned internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content in a move that promises to recast the digital landscape. The chief of the FCC, Ajit Pai who is a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump in January said that the commission will vote at a meeting on his plan on the 14th of December to repeal the so called rules of net neutrality championed by former Democratic President of the United States Barack Obama that treated internet service providers like public utilities.

The rules prevents internet service providers from blocking or slowing down access to content or charging consumers more for certain content. They were intended to make sure a free and open internet to allow consumers equal access to web content and prevent internet service providers from favoring their own content. This particular action marks a victory for the big internet service providers such as Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc which opposed the rules and allows them with sweeping powers to decide what web content consumers can get and at what price.

It represents a setback for Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc which had suggested Pai not to repeal the rules. On Tuesday, Netflix said that it strongly opposed the measure for the rolling back of these core protections. With two Democratic and three Republican commissioners, the move is quite certain to be approved. Donald Trump who is a Republican, expressed his opposition to net neutrality in the year 2014 even before the implementation of the regulations referring to it as a 'power grab' by former president Barrack Obama, the White House did not immediately comment on Tuesday regarding this. Pai said that his proposal would restrict state and local governments from creating their own net neutrality rules because internet service is an inherently interstate service. The pre-emption is very much likely to handcuff the states and localities that are governed by the Democrats who could have considered their own plans to protect consumers' equal access to internet content. Pai said in an interview that the FCC will no longer be in the business of micromanaging business models and pre-emptily barring services, applications & products that could be pro-competitive.

January 16, 2022 - 19:06
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