Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

FCC chair wants to replace net neutrality with "voluntary" commitments

FCC chair wants to replace net neutrality with

They said Pai "is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet", Reuters reported. This would move net neutrality out of the FCC's court entirely and over to the Federal Trade Commission. He is conceding that net neutrality is something that should continue to exist. We will keep you posted on updates. The way that the FCC could create rules with a strong legal foundation was to reclassify broadband services as Title II telecommunications companies, common carriers. "If these reports are true, Chairman Pai is preparing to give dominant cable and telecommunications companies what their D.C. lobbyists have dreamed of for years: voluntary net neutrality "rules" where consumer protection is no more than 'trust your cable or internet provider", Public Knowlege vice president Chris Lewis said Friday in a statement. The people requested anonymity because the proposal has not yet been made public. "You simply can not claim to support the open internet and net neutrality rules while abandoning and attacking the legal framework that makes those rules possible". Federal courts have upheld the current rules and investment in the internet economy has continued under them to the tune of billions of dollars. The 2015 decision was a step towards making net neutrality rules more permanent by making them subject to the same strictures as traditional telecoms like phone companies-but Republicans in general, and Pai in particular, have opposed the move, saying it's an example of the FCC overreaching its authority. One interesting twist is that Pai has, apparently, asked ISPs to sign an agreement not to artificially throttle internet traffic.

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Title II fans, including Congressional Democrats, have pledged to fight to preserve Title II, as they did to get the FCC to reclassify under Democratic chairman Tom Wheeler. Pai already exempted ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers from this rule, though larger ISPs must still follow it. This included a complaint process to oversee interconnection payments in which network operators or content providers pay ISPs for direct connections to consumer broadband networks. Whether it be a State implementation of the FCC's Broadband Privacy Rules, or a modified version customized to Montana privacy law, we would like to see Montana provide enforcement to our citizens constitutional right to privacy.

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