FCC chief lays out strategy on undoing 'net neutrality' rules

Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said the rules "took internet policy down into a dark and awful abyss" and said the FCC will "expunge net neutrality regulations from the Internet". Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Roberts said Pai's proposal "creates an environment where we can have a fresh constructive dialogue". The streaming-video company said in January that weaker net neutrality wouldn't hurt it because it's now too popular with users for broadband providers to interfere with its service. In short, net neutrality prevents Internet service providers from differentiating the type of traffic going across its pipes, both wired and wireless, abrogating the use of "fast lanes" for content providers that choose to pay for it.

"The truth of the matter is that we made a decision to abandon successful policies exclusively because of hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom".

The government doesn't belong at the "center of the internet", Pai added. "And we remain committed to open internet protections that are fair and equal for everyone", said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. "It would be a red light for democracy and a green light for cable and telecom giants to control where we go and what we do on the internet". Pai outlined today what might be next for net neutrality, including a possible roll back of Obama-era regulations on internet service providers.

Pai announced during the speech that he is not against rules in general, as there are relevant privacy concerns when dealing with the internet.

"Going forward, we can not stick with regulations from the Great Depression that were meant to micromanage Ma Bell", Pai said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. That it would mean you'd be more likely to get fast access at home, or if you live in a rural area that they'd feel like "OK, look we have no restrictions on our ways to make money, so we have plenty of incentive to build our infrastructure".

Supporters of the current net neutrality rules promised to fight Pai's efforts to repeal them.

If a majority of commissioners vote to pass the item, the FCC would then seek public comment on the proposal before it drafts a final rule.

In case that old conservative boogeyman, "regulations", didn't tip you off, though, the net neutrality rules have really stuck in the craw of certain right-wing lawmakers and officials-notably Pai, who's served on the commission since 2012, and vocally opposed the new guidelines when they were initially passed.

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Several internet pioneers spoke out for deregulation, however.

Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps warned that, "By reopening the FCC's historic 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC is jeopardizing core protections for online free speech and competition". "As soon as you allow any government anywhere the ability to impose regulations on the internet, you are doing. great harm to advance the right to know", he said.

The group of Democratic senators began laying out what forms opposition to Pai's changes may take, including mobilizing the public and mounting legal challenges.

Broadband industry lobbying group NCTA-The Internet & Television Association-meanwhile, cheered Pai's proposal as a win for consumers.

The fight for net neutrality will be longer, and much more public than the vote on broadband privacy.

Comcast Company is the parent company of NBCUniversal.

Opponents to the Title II protection of net neutrality have often argued the common carrier classification has slowed investment in internet infrastructure and stifled innovation from internet service providers.

"Days after a disappointing 2014 midterm election, and in order to energize a dispirited base, the White House released an extraordinary YouTube video instructing the FCC to implement Title II regulations".

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