The often disputed Obama-era regulation known as “net neutrality” that political parties and corporations have warred over for years now looks like it will finally meet its end very soon.
For those who don’t know what net neutrality is, there are two ways to describe it:
One is that government regulation forces internet services providers to dole out equal speeds for all sites, and not pick and choose which sites get the best service. It’s often described as the internet being “equal” and a way to stop big corporations from picking and choosing winners.
The other is that net neutrality is a burdensome regulatory solution looking for a problem and an excuse for control over an industry using the free market to problem solve and allow companies to charge what they will for premium speeds. They view net neutrality as Trojan horse for further regulations that would pick and choose winners.
Either way, net neutrality will likely become a thing of the past due to an oncoming December vote by the regulatory FCC lead by Trump appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
According to Bloomberg, Pai has a Republican majority, and will likely be able to pass whatever he proposes. According to insiders, he’s decided to put net neutrality up on the chopping block.
But while Pai may do away with Net Neutrality, he’ll be keeping the parts that force ISP’s to be more open about their practices:
One of the people said Pai may call for vacating the rules except for portions that mandate internet service providers inform customers about their practices — one of the more severe options that would please broadband providers. They argue the FCC’s rules aren’t needed and discourage investment, in part because they subject companies to complex and unpredictable regulations.
Not only will Pai gut Net Neutrality, he may pass rules that make the FCC unable to touch the idea in the first place, essentially by removing the internet from the column of being a public service.
Pai could also choose not to find authority in the FCC’s powers to promote broadband. That would leave the rules without an apparent legal footing, leading in turn to a conclusion the agency lacks authority even to issue revised, less-stringent regulations.