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Federal Communications Commission votes to begin dismantling Net Neutrality

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is backing a plan that will eliminate Title II protections that ensure all traffic is treated equally online

This morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to open debate on removing key protections for the open Internet. These rules, known as “Title II” were enacted only two years ago, and are seen by digital rights advocates and experts as the strongest protections possible to ensure Internet users have equal access to all content online.

Americans care about the open web. In just a few weeks, already more than one million people have come together in support of Net Neutrality and Title II. In 2015 we saw an unprecedented outpouring of support for strong rules that protect Internet users and ensure all content online is treated equally — resulting in a huge win for the Internet. Now, we have a former Verizon lobbyist seeking to tilt the playing field in favour of big industry, giving only those with money and power a platform. Well, Chairman Pai better be gearing up for the fight of a lifetime — because that’s what he’s asked for.

The vote today officially kicks off a public consultation where individuals will be able to send the FCC feedback on the proposal to eliminate Title II protections. In 2015, under Chairman Tom Wheeler a similar comment period saw more than four million people send responses to the FCC, which ultimately resulted in the enacting of the Open Internet Order and Title II protections.

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