FCC kicks off effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules

“In a 2-to-1 vote along party lines today, the FCC authorized a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to undo the 2015 decision to enforce open internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act. That empowers the agency to regulate the medium as a common carrier similar to phones,” David Lieberman reports for Deadline. “The FCC will seek public comment for 90 days — up to August 16 — and could vote on the matter as early as October.”

“FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made it clear that he wants to go back to Title I, which gives the agency less clout to regulate internet service providers. The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. overturned the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules saying that regulators lacked the authority to act under Title I,” Lieberman reports. “‘The internet was not broken in 2015,’ Pai said today. ‘We were not living in a digital dystopia.'”

Lieberman reports, “His predecessor, Tom Wheeler, promoted Title II under ‘partisan pressure from the White House’ and imposed ‘heavy handed’ regulations on cable and phone internet providers, he says. That led some ISPs to hesitate to ‘build or expand networks.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Boilerplate time:

As we wrote back in August 2006:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.

And as we followed up in September 2009:

That we have the same Take over three years later should be telling. Government regulations are not a panacea, neither are the lack thereof. It’s all about striking a proper balance where innovation can thrive while abuses are prevented.

Make that “the same Take over a decade later.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explains why he wants to scrap so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 28, 2017
FCC Chief Ajit Pai develops plans to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 7, 2017
U.S. FCC chairman wields weed whacker, takes first steps against so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 3, 2017
How so-called ‘net neutrality’ will fare under President Trump – January 26, 2017
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai vows to take a ‘weed whacker’ to so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 24, 2017
President Trump elevates Ajit Pai to FCC Chairman – January 23, 2017
Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 13, 2017
Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 18, 2016
Jeb Bush on FCC and so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulation: ‘One of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard’ – March 8, 2015
Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers – March 5, 2015
Legal battles loom over FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC OKs so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules on party-line vote – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ expected to unleash slew of court challenges – February 26, 2015
EFF: ‘We are deeply concerned; FCC’s new rules include provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach’ – February 25, 2015
The U.S. FCC’s Orwellian Internet policy – February 25, 2015
Democratic FCC commissioner balks at so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 24, 2015
FCC chief pressed to release proposed regulations governing so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 23, 2015
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet – February 10, 2015
Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 7, 2015
FCC chairman proposes to regulate ISP’s under Title II – February 4, 2015
U.S. congressional Republicans’ bill aims to head off Obama’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ plan – January 17, 2015
U.S. Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road – January 15, 2015
U.S. FCC says it will vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ in February – January 3, 2015
FCC hopes its rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ survive inevitable litigation – November 22, 2014
Obama-appointed FCC chairman distances himself from Obama on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 12, 2014
What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple? – November 12, 2014
AT&T to pause fiber investment until net neutrality rules are decided – November 12, 2014
There’s no one to root for in the debate over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner: Republicans will continue efforts to stop misguided scheme to regulate the Internet – November 10, 2014
Tech Freedom: Obama cynically exploits confusion over Title II, misses opportunity to lead on legislative deal – November 10, 2014
Obama want FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ – November 10, 2014


  1. “That led some ISPs to hesitate to ‘build or expand networks”

    Again with this argument. Where were the major ISP companies in more rural areas in the decade BEFORE the 2015 regulations came into effect?

    Oh yeah, buying state laws that prevented municipalities from building and offering their own internet service, because the major ISPs were either non-existent or had a monopoly on such crappy service that the population decided they could do better on their own, for cheaper.

  2. We live in interesting times.

    It will be interesting to see how the public comment goes and whether it has any impact at all on the decision made by the FCC. It seems to me that we live in a time when those in power are most interested in imposing their view of how things ought to be, regardless of the outcome. That goes for all sides of the political spectrum.

    1. How about stopping with the bullshit “so-called”?
      The internet as we know it wouldn’t exist without the United States Government investing in it through the Department of Defense. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Internet) Corporates feeding at the trough to the detriment of the American taxpayers who paid for it.
      MDN is wandering around like WestWorld hosts saying “What corporate pickpockets?” How dumb do you have to be to say that ATT and Verizon, etc. are in it to benefit the users?

  3. If MDN is serious about the government having a hands off approach, it would notice that most of the supporters of these anti-net neutrality rules are ISP that are … wait for it … largely the benefactors of government granted monopolies!

    Considering these companies have been granted local monopolies and that in most areas there is no broadband choice, it is a JOKE OF MAJOR PROPORTIONS to now argue that these same suck-on-the-teat-of-government monopolists want to now ‘compete.’ What they want is to eat their cake and still have it too.

    Considering that they have been granted local monopolies and act as local network choke points for the last mile in many if not most areas in the US, it’s perfectly reasonable to require them to not become editors of our network traffic.

    If you believe in what you say MDN, I’d like to see you start demanding they really compete by either giving up their local monopolies and really competing, or telling them where they can go…

  4. The Idiocracy marches on.

    I was happy today to see that some companies wrote to assure customers that they are NOT going to kill real Net Neutrality, no matter how stupid (aka ReTardlican Corporatocracy) things have become at the FCC.

    Wait for the hate…

    1. Some blowhard companies have ranted that Net Neutrality hurts their business and reduces their investment in infrastructure. LIARS. Even with approved additional customer fees added to bills, some of the asinine ISPs merely ATE the money and refused to add infrastructure. That’s called PARASITISM. Then there’s this recent discovery:

      Title II hasn’t hurt network
      investment, according to the ISPs themselves

      ISPs continue to invest and tell investors that net neutrality hasn’t hurt them.


      “We found that not a single publicly traded US ISP ever told its investors (or the SEC) that Title II negatively impacted its own investments specifically,” pro-net neutrality advocacy group Free Press said in a report issued yesterday.

      The Free Press report also disputes the investment numbers cited by Pai, saying that its own analysis shows an increase in network investment spending since the 2015 Title II net neutrality order. It isn’t surprising that people on opposite sides of the issue would come to different conclusions on investment data. What can’t be disputed is the fact that ISPs have given a rosy picture to investors, and the Free Press report provides examples of ISPs affirming that Title II hasn’t hurt them….

      IOW: Net Neutrality is bad business = A Lie.

    2. Here is beloved EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) take on Ajit Pai’s efforts to kill real Net Neutrality:

      EFF and Allies Write to Congress: FCC Chairman Pai’s Network Neutrality Plan Unworkable


      Here is the FCC’s sane and simple web page for writing directly to the FCC regarding Ajit Pai’s attempts to kill real Net Neutrality. (Note that the EFF set up this page specifically because attempting to write directly to the FCC using their own FCC.gov website is archaic, annoying and asinine). –>


      * [Thank you EFF! That’s why I give you money.]

          1. The EFF, like the ACLU, is usually on the right side of things even when the uninformed and marginally educated do not realize it.
            The inverse is also true- if it comes from Trumpland there is money for Trump, his paymasters or hangers on.

          2. Bot: Enjoy the daily Trump-idations. I think of them as shovels full of dirt dug out of The Trump administration’s internment hole.

            And no kids, you won’t find I ever had any regard for Princess Hilary either. That should give you the critical clue regarding my point of view of my country at this time. I call it 3-D thinking, versus the stupid 1-D political scale.

  5. Show of hands:
    How many of you have ever seen Verizon build out wired broadband in AT&T’s territory? Or Comcast build out in areas served by Cox or Spectrum- the ill advised merger of Time Warner Cable with Brighthouse and Charter? You ararely see it because we do not have a competitive market in wired broadband Internet in the United States. What exists is a cartel- both in content distribution and production and Ajit Pai, the Butt boy of the ISPs, wants to make sure it stays that way.

    If you take a little time online you will find that the newly merged Spectrum is raising prices all over the US. AT&T will likely do the same when they take over Time-Warner, just like Comcast did after buying NBC and Universal. These companies are carving the business up like a Turkey and consumers are increasingly getting gouged.

    The ISPs have been buying off State Lawmakers to pass laws that forbid public power utilities from going into the broadband business and preventing cities from building their own public broadband ISPs. AT&T is also fighting Google’s attempt to lease space on utility poles in Nashville- something they already do for Cable TV companies and private ISPs that only serve business. Google is not asking or free access- they are willing to pay market price for it, but AT&T does not want their copper in competition with Google’s fibers their utility poles.

    This is why wired internet is not comparable to wireless when discussing competition. Almost all of us have at least 3-4 choices for wireless, but most have 1 or maybe 2 choices for wired broadband. It is a natural utility and should be regulated as such.

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