In a proposal, from the Chairman of the FCC, on November 21, Aijit Pai, circulated the draft order ‘to Restore Internet Freedom And Eliminate Heavy-Handed Internet Regulations’.
A final vote for the new ruling will take place on December 14th.
Citing the alleged over-reach by the Obama administration, the Chairman stated:
“..In 2015, the prior FCC bowed to pressure from President Obama. On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake. It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.”
- Abandon “this failed approach”
- Return “longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades”
- “Stop micromanaging the Internet”
- FCC will “simply require Internet Service Providers to be transparent about their practices”
All this he said that because of his proposal “the FCC will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers and promote competition, just as it did “before 2015”.
“Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy.”
Pai also exclaimed that unlike the Obama administration regarding the post-2015 FCC voting, he stated: “I will publicly release my proposal to restore Internet freedom tomorrow—more than three weeks before the Commission’s December 14 vote.”
Majority of the Internet companies who oppose the Pai’s position are companies who work within the Internet. Majority of the ‘advocates’ of the proposal are companies who are the ‘gatekeepers’ of the Internet – AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
Many (like Twitter, Air BnB, Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, etc) disagree with the proposal of the current FCC chair, including Mozilla’s chief legal and business officer, Denelle Dixon.
“We haven’t actually lived in a world where fully the ISPs could block access. This is the world we need to imagine now,” Dixon said to NPR.
The proposal is expected to pass, with a 3-to-2 majority vote, solidly along party lines.