Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

FCC Republicans Vow to Gut Net Neutrality Rules “As Soon as Possible”

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly sent a letter to five lobby groups representing wireless carriers and small ISPs; while the letter is mostly about plans to extend an exemption for small providers from certain disclosure requirements, the commissioners also said they will tackle the entire net neutrality order shortly after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20.

“[W]e will seek to revisit [the disclosure] requirements, and the Title II Net Neutrality proceeding more broadly, as soon as possible,” they wrote, referring to the order that imposed net neutrality rules and reclassified ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. Pai and O’Rielly noted that they “dissented from the Commission’s February 2015 Net Neutrality decision, including the Order’s imposition of unnecessary and unjustified burdens on providers.”

The “burdens” placed on providers included rules designed to expose hidden fees, average real-world network performance, and a ban on creating a tiered system of individual service availability or speed. These are reasonable rules, and the way Pai and O’Rielly frame it as “burdensome” on “small business” ISPs is farcical.

The day when this entirely partisan debate formalizes into law that more money means a greater freedom of speech is the day that will be remembered as a gigantic mistake.