FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announces proposal to dismantle Net Neutrality protections
If passed, the order will make the Internet more expensive and give already powerful telecom companies even more control over citizens’ online experience.
November 21, 2017– Today Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement outlining his plan to dismantle hard-won Title II Net Neutrality rules. According to the statement, the draft order that will undo Title II protections for Net Neutrality was shared with FCC Commissioners today and will be made public tomorrow, in advance of the upcoming vote on December 14. Pai’s statement makes clear what has long been known – the interests of major telecom companies are being put ahead of the needs of customers, and Net Neutrality is on the chopping block.
“If Ajit Pai succeeds in killing Net Neutrality rules, it will completely change the Internet as we know it, giving already powerful telecom companies even more power to overcharge citizens while controlling what we see and do online. This could include blocking and throttling websites at will, for the sake of maximizing profits at the expense of Internet openness and accessibility,” said Laura Tribe, Executive Director of digital rights advocacy group OpenMedia.
Tribe continued, “Pai’s plan to kill Net Neutrality is a blatant attack on foundational principles of the Internet, and will disproportionately affect low-income and marginalized communities, who already struggle to stay online and depend on the open Internet to thrive. If this goes through, Pai will be responsible for lasting damage done to citizens’ abilities to communicate, start and run businesses, innovate, access education and healthcare, and make their voices heard online — all of which has been enabled by the current Net Neutrality rules that keep the Internet a level playing field for all.”
Pai has long been eager to undo his predecessor's Open Internet Order, but it has been a highly controversial campaign with much opposition from civil society, businesses, and the public – who have been incredibly vocal in their opposition to this plan. it is no surprise that he has strategically attempted to bury this story, releasing the proposals just ahead of the Thanksgiving long weekend. If Pai’s proposal on December 14 passes, it will have devastating consequences for Internet users in the United States and around the world.