THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Commission will publish on Wednesday its plan to reverse Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned internet service providers from blocking or slowing down content, or creating so-called “fast lanes” for companies willing to pay extra to deliver their content more quickly.
The new FCC order will throw out almost all of the agency’s 2015 net-neutrality rules, including the prohibitions on blocking and throttling content, senior FCC staff said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. The order will also ban states from imposing their own net-neutrality rules to replace the federal regulations.
The order also reverses the decision to classify both mobile and home broadband internet services as “common carriers” like telephone services. That change will allow the Federal Trade Commission to enforce antitrust laws against broadband providers should they engage in anticompetitive behavior. The order will also require broadband providers to publicly disclose if they block or slow content, or accept payments from companies for preferential treatment.
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”