Federal Communications Commission recently put forward a new proposal to repeal the net neutrality ruling given under the Obama Administration in 2015. As per the Commission’s proposed deregulations, the main internet providers would be able to decide which websites as well as web services the customers can access going forward. In the contrary, the 2015 ruling states ISPs shall give access to web content and web-related applications irrespective of the host and without slowing down or blocking certain websites on preference basis.
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The proposal needs approval from the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission, which may happen in the meeting slated to take place by mid-December. The internet service providers remain skeptic to net neutrality as the ruling makes it tough for them to monitor web traffic, whereas the websites fear that the repeal will lead to a decline in user traffic.
“Our approach will be not zero regulation, but light-touch regulation — rules backed by long-standing principles of competition law,” the FCC Chairman added. In fact, Pai’s statements were wowed by cable TV providers, conservatives, and internet providers in the US. However, the ex-Chairman of FCC cum Democratic Party Member, Tom Wheeler said that the repeal is “tragic” for the consumers.
“If you like your cable company, you’ll love what this does for the Internet,” said Wheeler, who brought the net neutrality ruling in 2015. He further added that Pai’s proposal would need ISPs to stay transparent in order for the repeals to work as planned going forward. For instance, if an ISP opts to block or slow down or give advantageous treatment to a website, the ISP should inform the consumers of their policy on a website that is accessible.
If any violation of the transparency with respect to the new net neutrality policy happens, the Commission would penalize the ISP. Moreover, FCC’s repeal plans of net neutrality would also transfer the responsibility of legal enforcement back to Federal Trade Commission, which can sue violations if any.
“The FTC stands ready to protect broadband subscribers from anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts and practices just as we protect consumers in the rest of the Internet ecosystem,” said acting FTC Chairman, Maureen K. Ohlhausen.