FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a proposal today among fellow commissioners to roll back Title II classification of internet access providers in a planned Dec. 14 vote. That means they will no longer be considered common carriers subject to mandatory access requirements. The current guidelines were put in place in 2015 to prevent internet service providers from creating “fast lanes” or slowing down content from certain outlets. The chairman voted against the 2015 Open Internet order as a commissioner and signaled early on that repealing the order was one of his top priorities.
In a statement, Pai said “For almost twenty years, the internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades.” His proposal requires ISPs to be public about their practices of regulating internet traffic. Pai is expected to have the votes to pass it over strong Democratic opposition.