US FCC officially launches process that could roll back net neutrality rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to start a process that could lead to a roll back of the net neutrality rules it had adopted in 2015. The vote means that the proposal put forward in April by Chairman Ajit Pai to overturn the classification of broadband providers and utility carriers is now an official FCC proposal, open for public comment until August. The proposal also envisions the repealing of a rule that allows the Commission to investigate business models of Internet providers that might be uncompetitive. And there is also a question raised as to whether the FCC should eliminate the rule that prohibits the blocking or slowing down of traffic. After the public comment period, the proposal can be modified, before being put to a final vote in the Commission. Although Pai has previously said that he favors an open Internet, it remains to be seen what will happen with the 2015 net neutrality rules. Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who voted against the plan, said that it ’jeopardizes the ability of the open Internet to function tomorrow, as it does today’.