Today Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai made clear he intends to dismantle strong net neutrality protections in the US.
If approved, his plan would reverse a 2015 FCC ruling to reclassify internet service providers (ISPs) as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. The 2015 regulation was key for the roll-out of effective and enforceable net neutrality rules that would prevent ISPs from arbitrarily slowing down, or even blocking, internet traffic.
Our founder, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said:
“When I invented the web, I didn’t have to ask anyone for permission, and neither did America’s successful internet entrepreneurs when they started their businesses. To reach its full potential, the internet must remain a permissionless space for creativity, innovation and free expression. In today’s world, companies can’t operate without internet, and access to it is controlled by just a few providers. The FCC’s announcements today suggest they want to step back and allow concentrated market players to pick winners and losers online. Their talk is all about getting more people connected, but what is the point if your ISP only lets you watch the movies they choose, just like the old days of cable?”
Chairman Pai will release a document outlining his proposal tomorrow, April 27, which the FCC will vote on at its opening meeting on May 18.
We will continue to fight for strong net neutrality protections to ensure that all internet traffic is treated equally, and the web remains an innovative, creative space for everyone.