Rep. Ro Khanna, Sen. Chuck Schumer denounce the move.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has unveiled plans to reverse net neutrality rules that were in place by the Obama administration in 2015.
Calling them a mistake, he said the commission will vote on May 18 to “return to the light-touch regulatory framework that served our nation so well during the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and the first six years of the Obama administration.”
The current rules, brought about by the FCC in February 2015, prevent service providers from blocking lawful content, slowing down the internet speed and favoring particular types of content by charging fee.
By Pai, a Republican nominated as chairman by Trump at the beginning of the year, had signaled his intention to roll back these rules almost immediately after he took charge.
“Nothing about the internet was broken in 2015,” he said in a speech in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. “Nothing about the law had changed. And there wasn’t a rash of internet service providers blocking customers from accessing the content, applications or services of their choice.”
The rollback would greatly benefit major internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, among others.
But Pai’s speech drew sharp rebukes from the supporters of net neutrality rules on the Hill.
In a press release, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-CA has criticized the FCC chairman’s move, saying that it would result in concentration of power in the hands of a few giant service providers. on rollbacks to net neutrality
“Chairman Pai needs to cease his endless assault on internet freedom and net neutrality,” Khanna said. “This proposal would concentrate power to a handful of internet service providers and hinder innovation for both startups and consumers. FCC commissioners should refuse to accept Pai’s proposal and keep the current legal framework that guarantees a free and open internet. To do otherwise puts our economy and what this country stands for at risk.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also lambasted Pai’s decision. In a tweet, he termed the move as “a dramatic step in the wrong direction for the future of the internet.”
FCC Chief Ajit Pai expected to unveil new net neutrality plans on Wednesday (April 25, 2017)