Here Is What Donald Trump May Do to Obama's Net Neutrality Laws

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 27, 2017

"Chairman Pai's plan to gut the FCC's net neutrality rules will devastate Black communities".

Internet Service Providers - such as AT&T - have applauded his latest push against the net neutrality rules that were put in place in 2015.

Pai also proposes to eliminate the Internet conduct standard, used to probe zero-rated services offered by providers.

Internet service providers, many of whom sued to stop Title II regulation, were united in praise for the new approach, as well as calling on Congress to clarify FCC authority.

San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit that advocates for civil liberties online, said in a statement Wednesday, "Net neutrality protects free speech, innovation, and competition", and warned that a roll back "would mean losing the only rules that meaningfully prevent ISPs from taking advantage of their control over your Internet connection". This 2015 rule gives the FCC a roving mandate to micromanage the Internet.

First, we are proposing to return the classification of broadband service from a Title II telecommunications service to a Title I information service-that is, light-touch regulation drawn from the Clinton Administration.

Last year, the FCC left in place rules barring mergers among the top four national television broadcast networks: Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N) ABC, CBS Corp's (CBS.N) CBS, Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O) NBC and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's (FOXA.O) Fox.

Pai said his proposal will face an initial vote on May 18 but he would not seek to finalize a reversal of the Obama rules until the FCC takes public comment, which could take several months.

Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said the rules "took internet policy down into a dark and disgusting abyss" and said the FCC will "expunge net neutrality regulations from the Internet".

Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Roberts said reclassification of internet services as a utility should be reversed.

"Given the realities of today's media marketplace, we need to see which rules are still necessary and which should be relaxed or repealed", Pai said.

Democratic Senator Edward Markey predicted Pai would face a "tsunami of resistance" to overturning the rules.

The Internet Association, a group representing Facebook Inc (FB.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and others, said the current FCC net neutrality rules are working and should not be changed.

"I am confident that the millions of Americans who weighed in with the FCC in support of the open internet order will once again make their voices heard to demonstrate how wrongheaded this approach is", said Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer.

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