Ajit Pai, the Republican Chairman of the FCC, today said he intends to abolish the net neutrality regulations put in place by the previous administration in favor of a “light touch” regulatory approach. “In 2015 the FCC … imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the internet,” argued Pai. “That decision was a mistake. It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.” Pai provided no evidence to back this claim. “Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades.” Pai says moving forward the FCC “would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.” Pai would also give control of privacy regulation back to the Federal Trade Commission, which would be responsible for policing internet providers and protecting consumers. The net neutrality rules as they stand today have bright-line rules about what ISPs can and cannot do in order to protect consumers and prevent prioritization schemes. Pai insists his approach will “unleash the digital revolution” that will benefit consumers. Pai plans to reveal his full plan later this week. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the matter at its next open meeting on December 14.
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