dglobalnews.com FCC Boss to Unveil His Attack on Net Neutrality On Wednesday
Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

FCC Boss to Unveil His Attack on Net Neutrality On Wednesday

FCC Boss to Unveil His Attack on Net Neutrality On Wednesday

Pai "is determined to give control of the internet to companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, no matter the cost to our economy and democracy", Free Press CEO and President Craig Aaron said in a statement.

Privacy advocates and tech industry giants alike are dreading an upcoming speech this week which is expected to announce a dramatic rollback of net neutrality rules imposed during the Obama administration.

Pai has said in the past that he is not opposed to some form of net neutrality protection, but it must be without the common carrier designation. Consumer groups have argued that Internet providers have a strong incentive to force websites such as Netflix or Google to pay a fee to be displayed on consumers' screens, which could affect what services consumers can see and access online.

To initiate the process, he will start by taking public comment and might have the initial voting on his proposal on May 18th FCC meeting. It propagates and promotes that FCC should police the broadband provider actions using the utility-style regulation. And given that net neutrality has broad, bipartisan support among consumers, Pai has an uphill battle against what will likely be severe activist backlash.

A spokesman for Pai declined to comment.

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Under FTC-style enforcement, the FCC or the FTC would not set any industrywide net neutrality rules, instead depending on broadband providers' pledges to avoid blocking or slowing web traffic.

Pai, named chairman by President Donald Trump in January, said a year ago the FCC should have repealed the ban on ownership of a broadcast station and newspaper in the same market, citing the closing of 400 U.S. newspapers, or about a quarter of daily titles, since 1975 as advertising revenue has sharply declined. John Oliver also dedicated a show segment to the topic, which raised awareness of an otherwise jargon-y, abstract issue.

An FCC spokesman confirmed Pai's speech, but did not provide other details.

Fortunately, in 2015 the Federal Communications Commission put in place light touch net neutrality rules that not only prohibit certain harmful practices, but also allow the Commission to develop and enforce rules to address new forms of discrimination.

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