Network Security

FCC chair calls for net neutrality rollback

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Wednesday laid out plans to rollback net neutrality regulations put in place under the Obama administration.

“The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you're likely to get,” Pai said during a speech at the Newseum.

While he didn't offer many details of the new plans – those will be released Thursday – Pai called the internet regulations adopted by the FCC two years ago, “heavy handed” and politically motivated.

“First, we are proposing to return the classification of broadband service from a Title II telecommunications service to a Title I information service,” he said. “Second, we are proposing to eliminate the so-called internet conduct standard.”

But opponents said removing protections would hurt users.

"Technological innovation has flourished because of the open nature of the internet,” Ferras Vinh, policy counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), said in a statement. "This has led to new business models and new platforms for expression. Chairman Pai's proposal to undo the strong open internet protections currently in place would clearly advantage large internet service providers at the expense of the internet users who deserve unfettered, equitable access to the full range of internet services."

Vinh said that the initiative will meet with resistance from the public.

"Internet users across the country resoundingly supported net neutrality, with millions speaking out for the strongest protections possible,” he said. “Chairman Pai should expect internet users to oppose his efforts and CDT will right there with them.”

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