FCC’s repeal of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules now official

“It’s official,” Keith Collins reports for The New York Times. “The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, which had required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content, took effect on Monday.”

“The repeal was a big win for Ajit Pai, the F.C.C.’s chairman, who has long opposed the regulations, saying they impeded innovation,” Collins reports. “He once said they were based on ‘hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom.'”

“The original rules laid out a regulatory plan that addressed a rapidly changing internet. Under those regulations, broadband service was considered a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the F.C.C. broad power over internet providers,” Collins reports. “The F.C.C. said it had repealed the rules because they restrained broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast from experimenting with new business models and investing in new technology. Its chairman has long argued against the rules, pointing out that before they were put into effect in 2015, service providers had not engaged in any of the practices the rules prohibited.”

MacDailyNews Note: FCC Chairman Pai has written an op-ed published by CNET which reads in part, “I support a free and open internet. The internet should be an open platform where you are free to go where you want, and say and do what you want, without having to ask anyone’s permission. And under the Federal Communications Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect Monday, the internet will be just such an open platform. Our framework will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access and more competition.” Pai’s full op-ed is here.

“‘America’s internet economy became the envy of the world thanks to a market-based approach that began in the mid-1990s,’ Mr. Pai said in a speech at the Mobile World Congress in February. ‘The United States is simply making a shift from pre-emptive regulation, which foolishly presumes that every last wireless company is an anti-competitive monopolist, to targeted enforcement based on actual market failure or anti-competitive conduct,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last December regarding the call by U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) for Congress to pass ‘net neutrality’ legislation:

There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. The former is harder, but lasting; the latter is quicker, but ephemeral.

Real net neutrality legislation is the solution to the FCC/FTC regulatory seesaw.

As we wrote over a decade ago, 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.”

U.S. Senate democrats stage a phony vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – May 16, 2018
U.S. FCC reversal of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules expected to be published Thursday – February 20, 2018
NARUC regulators respond to scrapping of so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulations by U.S. FCC – December 15, 2017
Republican senator calls on U.S. Congress to pass ‘net neutrality’ legislation – December 12, 2017
Millions of people post ‘net neutrality’ comments on FCC docket; many are fake – December 12, 2017
U.S. FCC rejects calls to delay vote to repeal so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – December 5, 2017
Dear Aunt Sadie, please step back from the so-called ‘net neutrality’ ledge – November 27, 2017
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Killing Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ will set the internet free – November 22, 2017
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: How the FCC can save the open internet – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans total repeal of Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans December vote to kill so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 16, 2017
Apple’s call for ‘strong’ net neutrality rules is a hint about the future of its business – September 1, 2017
Apple breaks their silence on ‘net neutrality,’ remains open to alternative sources of legal authority – August 31, 2017
Trump administration gives thumbs up to overturning FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 19, 2017
]Apple’s deafening silence on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 14, 2017
FCC kicks off effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – May 18, 2017
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


  1. Steve Wozniak: I twice in my life flew to Washington, DC, to be at a meeting where an important decision was coming down, and it was two rulings on net neutrality, and I was present in the audience. And that probably says enough about my own feelings.

    I’m also one of the founders of the EFF. And I always favor those who don’t have money, the people who are attending our Comic Con, I favor them over the people who have money and power and wealth.

    Like big companies — be it Google, be it even Apple, I always favor the small one, and net neutrality kind of ensures the big guys will have a route in.

    Look who our president is going to look to for advice — and the advice he’s going to get is, “Let us rule, let us rule the internet, and let us have lower taxes.” And that just fights against the little guy.

  2. If any prior administration enacted any law rooted in common sense, fairness, decency, or scientific validity — this administration would make its first priority to kill it no matter what the cost. Idiots one and all.

  3. Original headline reads as follows:

    “The Net Neutrality Repeal Is Official.
    Here’s How That Could Affect You.”

    To me, it comes down to this: If AT&T and Comcast are for it, it can’t be good for the average consumer. They have NEVER acted in our best interests. Why would we think they have had a change of heart now?

  4. A poll from December of last year conducted by the University of Maryland found that, when presented with comprehensive arguments for and against, 83 percent of registered voters supported net neutrality, regardless of political affiliation. Just as crucially, only 21 percent of Republican voters favored Pai’s supposedly small-government rollback order.

  5. “without having to ask anyone’s permission.”
    Except for Comcast. You should have to ask them and the other ISP’s for their permission of COURSE.

    “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.”
    That there is a LOT of hope. “We hope forces are in place, just NOT forces like, you know, the force that WAS in place. We hope any forces except for that force is in place. And we also hope that balances adjust but NOT in the way the balances were adjusted as recently as yesterday.”.
    Doesn’t sound very sincere, eh?

  6. OMG, I can’t see anymore!!

    This is worse than Manmade Global Warming and the repeal of Obamacare combined!!!

    The Fall is Skying!!!!!!!
    -Oh wait, what?
    Most likely nothing will change and access will stay on pace to become faster and cheaper like it has been doing for years???

    well THAT’S no fun to complain about!

  7. Pai also said this will lead to “better, faster, cheaper internet access for consumers”.

    Does ANYONE here actually believe their bills are going to be lowered in any real way? Anyone?

        1. “bills are going to be lowered in any real way?”

          When you get more for the same price, that is one way for a bill to go down, because you can actually drop down a tier then if you want.

          In other words, I used to pay more for way less speed than now. Even my dial up in the 90’s was only $15 dollars a month less than my 100 Mbps speed now.

          If you were actually looking at the reality of the business instead of the politics, you would admit to what’s going on.

          So no, I am not lying and believe me, I know waaaay more about this business than you.

  8. “Net neutrality” forbids pricing bandwidth by its value, which is how shortages are created.

    Netflix uses 1/5 of the Internet bandwidth but doesn’t want to pay any more than the guy buying socks on Amazon.

    The short list of #NetNeutrality supporters:
    1) People who don’t know what Net Neutrality is
    2) Socialists
    3) People who want their neighbors to pay for their 24hr-a-day Netflix habit
    4) Twitter bots
    5) Countries who hate the US & want to ensure it loses its technology edge

    1. No, I think that Netflix wants to pay the same per megabyte as a guy buying socks on Amazon. It is perfectly happy to pay more for its total usage. Similarly, somebody with a Netflix habit is probably happy to pay the same as their neighbors per megabyte for usage.

      Other utilities (and the FCC action doesn’t change the fact that internet access should be a utility) generally charge less per unit (megawatt/hour of electricity or thousand gallons of water) to large consumers, not more.

      In a free market, the ISPs would simply increase their capacity to meet increased demand. If they didn’t, customers would go to their competitors. In the real world, most ISPs have no real competition, and they have chosen instead to limit their capacity and use higher prices to throttle demand. That way, they can make more money without any more investment.

      I am not sure what ISPs have ever done to help the US acquire a “technology edge.” Their service is both slower and more expensive than in almost any other industrialized country. You can’t lose an “edge” you never had.

    2. @Glenn: Please refer to the recent poll graphic I posted above in the thread, entitled: “Bipartisan Support For Net Neutrality’. It’s part of a series of polls that have provided consistently similar results. IOW: You’re wrong.

      As TxUser points out below, we ALREADY know that ISPs want to charge by the megabyte. Time Warner Cable attempted it THREE TIMES. Each time:

      • Time Warner Cable set a LIMIT on total download in megabytes.
      • Victim customers who went over the limit were put on a METER.
      • For each megabyte over the limit, customers paid an added monthly fee according to how many megabytes they downloaded OVER the limit.
      • The fee charged per megabyte was verified to be 10x higher than the actual cost per megabyte to Time Warner Cable. That’s called CUSTOMER GOUGING.
      • The only reason Time Warner Cable FAILed in these attempts at CUSTOMER GOUGING was because of long, loud and organized efforts by their victim customers. TWC was shamed each time into repealing their CUSTOMER GOUGING efforts.

      So, when Ajit Pai pretends their are no precedents for REAL Net Neutrality abuse, he’s LYING again. Expect exactly the above scenario or variations there of to follow the revocation of REAL Net Neutrality.

      The Spirit of the Age of bad BizNizziz:
      Screw Thy Customers

      The Spirit of the Age of bad government:
      Screw Thy Citizens

      Only the willfully ignorant haven’t noticed. Only fools allow it to happen to them.

  9. Low information voters (as in poll takers) are suckered in by what a law or set of regulations is called, combined with the short statement of the intent. Little attention is paid to the actual law or regulations, that takes too much time.
    Such it is with many folks here. “Net Neutrality” to “force the ISP’s to treat everyone the same” is good enough for them, it sure sounds good.
    If only life and law were so simple.

  10. If I now understand this correctly (a bit doubtful), I agree with what Pai said:

    “‘America’s internet economy became the envy of the world thanks to a market-based approach that began in the mid-1990s,’ Mr. Pai said in a speech at the Mobile World Congress in February. ‘The United States is simply making a shift from pre-emptive regulation, which foolishly presumes that every last wireless company is an anti-competitive monopolist, to targeted enforcement based on actual market failure or anti-competitive conduct,’ he said.”

    That last part, “…targeted enforcement…” is what’s important. I think this was a law that was not needed. Much more efficient to just target enforcement when and if there are wrong practices by ISPs. I agree with MDN’s takes.

    1. Without any rules, there can’t be any rule-breaking. Without any rules, there is nothing to enforce. Without any rules, there can’t be any wrong practices to target.

      The reason that murder is illegal is not just that it is immoral, but that the Legislature adopted a rule against it. Without that rule, we could kill each other at will without fear of prosecution, only of extralegal vendetta. Without a rule against “market failure and anti-competitive conduct,” neither of those things will be subject to legal enforcement, either.

  11. LIAR Ajit Pai LIED his way into killing REAL Net Neutrality. Expect him to LIE until the day he’s thrown out of the FCC.

    Welcome to corporatocracy on the Internet.

    We’ll hate it. We’ll hate the companies that abuse us. We’ll hate the government puppets who made it this way. This isn’t governing. This is corporate rule over its customers. This is insane.

  12. The question for all the self styled libertarians is this:
    If you pay for ISP service, should you get full access to the internet or only what serves the interests of the iSP?

    If you, like MDN , call it “so called” net neutrality, you are OK with them installing slow lanes and giving others an advantage for a price since they essentially have a monopoly in most of the US (wired broadband).

    Others, like Tim Berners-Lee (who had a lot to do with developing the internet) , think you should get what you pay for on an equal access basis. Otherwise MDN should load just as fast as 9to5 Mac, AppleInsider, Ars, Wired, etc.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.