By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 11-21-17
In a sweeping decision, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to essentially wipe the slate clean of most net-neutrality regulations adopted under the Title II-based 2015 Open Internet Order by the then Tom Wheeler-led FCC.
The Restoring Internet Freedom Draft Order circulated earlier today (Nov. 21) repeals the bright-line rules against blocking, degrading and paid prioritization and pre-empts any attempts by states and localities to impose their own versions, according to senior FCC officials speaking on background.
The order will be publicly released Wednesday (Nov. 22), and is certain to get major pushback from Democrats on the Hill and activists elsewhere.
The FCC concluded that the costs of the rules, which were substantial, outweigh the benefits. Eliminating virtually all the rules could leave the field open for Congress to adopt its own targeted, bright-line rules, as some Republicans were indicating following circulation of the item.
But it retains and even adds a transparency requirement that ISPs will have to publicly disclose if they engage in blocking, throttling, affiliate prioritization, or paid prioritization, and just what they are blocking or prioritizing. » Read More