The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday voted to advance a Republican plan to reverse the Obama administration’s 2015 net neutrality regulations.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom proposal seeks to repeal current net neutrality protections put in place by the past administration, which aims at creating a level playing field on the internet by ensuring that ISP providers treat all online content the same.
The FCC voted 2-1 to begin a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process to reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order.
Pro-net neutrality groups have expressed their outrage at this outcome.
“The 2015 rules are working, and the internet industry remains opposed to any changes to FCC regulations governing net neutrality,” said Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman. “ISPs should not be able to use their position as gatekeepers to prioritize their own content over others. Internet companies stand with consumers, startups, and other beneficiaries of the ecosystem in our fight to maintain a free and open internet.”
Republicans and broadband providers oppose net neutrality regulations, claiming that FCC regulation of broadband providers has inhibited investment in broadband infrastructure, negatively affecting consumers.
According to pro-net neutrality groups, this is not the case.
“ISP investment is up over time, and shows no decline as a result of Title II reclassification in 2015. By multiple, independent metrics, ISP claims of depressed investment don’t mesh with reality. From actual capital expenditure numbers, to patents, to prices, Title II has not had the effects that ISPs claim,” added Beckerman.