US FCC prepares to vote on rolling back net neutrality rules

At its upcoming meeting scheduled for 12 December, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on a proposal previously put forward by chairman Ajit Pai on repealing the current net neutrality rules. In a statement released on 21 November, Pai announced that it had shared with the Commission a draft order on Restoring Internet Freedom, which ‘would abandon [the net neutrality] failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades’. According to the statement, Internet service providers would only be required ‘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’. Pai’s statement was followed by statements from other FCC members. Commissioner Brenda Carr expressed her support for Pai’s draft order, as ‘it will promote innovation and investment for the benefit of all Americans’, while Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said that it was time ‘to overturn the market disrupting net neutrality […] regulations’. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, on the other hand, noted that repealing net neutrality rules ‘tears at the foundation of that [Internet] openness’, and called for public hearings. Commissioner Clyburn published a fact sheet outlining her pro net neutrality position.