Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday commented on his plans to roll back net neutrality, a development which people in the tech industry and the general public view as a precursor to an unequal internet.
Pai, an advocate for the deregulation of the internet, is specifically targeting loosening the FCC rules that currently prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, or charging more money to certain websites.
“We applaud FCC Chairman Pai’s initiative to remove this stifling regulatory cloud over the internet,” said AT&T in a blog post.
Smaller tech companies do not share this sentiment and made this known in a letter sent on Wednesday to the FCC chairman by 800 startups and entrepreneurs. “The success of America’s startup ecosystem depends on an open internet with enforceable net neutrality rules, ensuring that small companies can compete on a level playing field without the threat that their services will be discriminated against by big cable and wireless companies,” they stated.
Civil liberties advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Wednesday that rolling back net neutrality “would mean losing the only rules that meaningfully prevent ISPs from taking advantage of their control over your Internet connection.”