Last week in Washington D.C., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 2-1 to rollback net neutrality rules under Title II of the Communications Act. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), it’s proposed that the Title II classification be superseded by new regulations.
Currently, Title II makes it illegal for an Internet service provider (ISP) to block or slow down websites for consumers. Net neutrality advocates fear that without these laws in place, larger companies may harm consumers and startups with fast-lanes/throttling and bundled content, among other uncompetitive practices.
But not to worry, because FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, claims that without Title II classification, ISPs would regulate themselves. 😉
Pai also posits that Title II has caused a severe decline in broadband network investment since 2015, although contrarily, ISPs have been telling their investors the exact opposite.
The argument rages on but a decision is imminent. One thing for consumers to consider is that if Title II classification is eliminated, the authority to regulate ISPs may fall to the Federal Trade Commission. However, rather than protecting a free and open Internet with preemptive regulations, the government would be punishing unfair or deceptive practices after they occur. That’s one reason we feel net neutrality laws are worth holding onto.
There’s still time to be heard
The FCC is now seeking public opinion on how our current net neutrality laws should be rewritten. They’ve requested that you let them know how you feel by filling out this form, available from now until August 16. Then they will make their final decision after taking those comments into consideration and conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Alternatively, you can call the FCC toll-free: 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322)
Dear FCC – Use this site to file your complaint with the FCC in the event that their form goes down again. They’ll deliver your letter when it comes back up.
EFF.org – Tell your representatives in Congress to oppose the FCC’s rollback.
Battle for the Net – Use the map on this page to find a town hall near you and confront your senator about the proposed changes.