Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

FCC Net Neutrality Repeal to Also Undo 2015 ISP Pricing and Service Quality Disclosure Requirements

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

There have been two major versions of the FCC’s transparency requirements: one created in 2010 with the first net neutrality rules, and an expanded version created in 2015. Both sets of transparency rules survived court challenges from the broadband industry.

The 2010 requirement had ISPs disclose pricing, including “monthly prices, usage-based fees, and fees for early termination or additional network services.”

That somewhat vague requirement will survive Pai’s net neutrality repeal. But Pai is proposing to eliminate the enhanced disclosure requirements that have been in place since 2015.

The 2015 disclosures that Ajit Pai’s proposal would undo include transparency on data caps, and additional monthly fees for things like modem rentals. ISPs also wouldn’t have to necessarily make these disclosures public on their own website; they can tell the FCC about them, and the FCC will publish the disclosures on their byzantine website.

Pai has claimed that his proposed rollback will encourage net neutrality practices without regulation because it will require ISPs to be fully transparent. In a shocking turn of events for statements and policies originating from the top minds of this administration, that claim turns out to be a complete lie: ISPs won’t have to be as open and transparent about their pricing and policies, and they have repeatedly stated that they would use tactics like paid prioritization to manipulate network traffic if given the opportunity.

The undoing of the 2015 net neutrality rules is likely to pass during the FCC’s December 14 meeting despite the rules’ overwhelming public support.

Update: Klint Finley of Wired debunks Pai’s claim that net neutrality regulations negatively impact broadband investment.