Nearly two dozen smaller ISPs have told FCC chairman Ajit Pai that the FCC's 2015 Open Internet order reclassifying ISPs as Title II common carrier telecom services "hangs like a black cloud", a cloud they are urging him to dispel ASAP.
Pai is introducing his net neutrality plan during a busy week in DC that will likely overshadow the FCC lead's anti-net-neutrality agenda.
"Vin Scully tried to call the plays fast and let the crowd do the talking", Pai said.
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Pai has frequently spoken out against the net neutrality rules and voted against them when he was a FCC commissioner.
Before adopting the current rules, the FCC twice tried to impose net neutrality rules that were struck down by courts as going beyond the agency's authority. Instead, Internet service providers would take a voluntary pledge not to discriminate online and the Federal Trade Commission would investigate any alleged violations of the pledges. And he has floated the idea privately to various companies and groups that could be affected by that change in policy.
Wheeler argued that ISPs were uniquely in a gatekeeper position vis-à-vis the edge and that the FCC didn't have the power to regulate the latter in any event.
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Pai said that the FCC will look to greenlight the experimentation by broadcasters of the new ATSC 3.0 standard by the end of the year. "There's common ground here and there's room for an agreement here", Pai told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. If they vote to approve the proposal it will start the process of soliciting public comment.
A spokesman for Pai declined to comment. John Oliver also dedicated a show segment to the topic, which raised awareness of an otherwise jargon-y, abstract issue. The FCC rules require the service provider to treat all web traffic equally and not to block or slow down the traffic to particular websites.
When the FCC crafted the net neutrality rules in 2015, a record 4 million consumers wrote in to the agency, largely in support of the rules.
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Fortunately, in 2015 the Federal Communications Commission put in place light touch net neutrality rules that not only prohibit certain harmful practices, but also allow the Commission to develop and enforce rules to address new forms of discrimination.