The head of the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Ajit Pai will be delivering a speech on Wednesday in Washington titled “The Future of Internet Regulation”
Pai who took office in January this year intends to repeal the rules that were approved in early 2015 by the previous Democratic majority under President Barack Obama.
To initiate the process, he will start by taking public comment and might have the initial voting on his proposal on May 18th FCC meeting.
In his much-awaited speech, Pai is expected to discuss his vision of net neutrality. The FCC rules require the service provider to treat all web traffic equally and not to block or slow down the traffic to particular websites. The rules approved under the Obama administration, however, prohibit the service provider to provide speedy internet access called the “fast lane” to certain internet services. The major internet providers have been arguing that these revised rules have made it harder to manage the traffic and also made them hesitant to invest in additional capacity.
Sources close to Pai said that he intends to keep the internet principles, but wants to get rid of the utility-style regulatory framework. The matter has long pitted the tech companies against the internet providers and the chairman wants to solve the matter by this fall.
The FCC’s net neutrality rules generally require that internet service providers treat web traffic equally and prohibit providers from blocking or slowing traffic to certain websites.
Pai has maintained that he supports the principles of net neutrality, but what he opposes is the regulatory underpinnings that were brought through 2015 Open Internet Order. It propagates and promotes that FCC should police the broadband provider actions using the utility-style regulation. While those in favour of 2015 regulations believe that it was a necessary step, the telecom industry and the FCC chairman feels it has deterred investment in the segment.
Not everyone is in sync with Pai. Craig Aaron, the CEO of Advocacy group Free Press said, “Pai wants to hand over control of the internet to providers no matter the cost to our economy and democracy.”
Changing the net neutrality that is as per his liking is the latest regulatory rollback for Pai who is in office only since January. This plan of his will land in the middle of the maelstrom of a week when the Congress is already preoccupied with the repealing of Obamacare, getting the much-awaited and promised tax reforms and trying to keep the federal government from shutting down.