In February, 2015, former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler and the Commission passed in a 3-2 vote to initiate Title II Reclassification of the Broadband Internet, a new set of rules developed to give FCC regulators greater oversight in authorizing the classification of Internet services and service providers. The reclassification rules were initiated to better guarantee an open Internet.
“There are three simple keys to our broadband future,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a public statement Thursday [PDF]. “Broadband networks must be fast. Broadband networks must be fair. Broadband networks must be open.”
Moving forward into 2017, President Trump’s top telecom regulator, Ajit Pai, recently announced that he plans to dismantle the 2015 FCC Title II rules that protect Net Neutrality. In response to Pai’s announcement, neutrality advocates have vowed to mobilize a grassroots movement to fight the proposed change.
The FCC’s 2015 Title II provision enforces the principle that Internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, or Verizon cannot give preference to their own online products while discriminating against competing services. In addition, Title II prevents ‘fast lane’ preferences for highly bankrolled companies, as well as restrictions on controversial ideas or perspectives.
According to Pai’s announcement, he has distributed a written proposal to the other two FCC commissioners, Republican Mike O’Rielly and Democrat Mignon Clyburn, to reverse Title II. The Commission will vote on Pai’s proposal at its May open meeting, with Republicans having the controlling vote.
Read more on the 2015 FCC Title II Reclassification: FCC Orders Title II Reclassification of Broadband Internet
More on FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s Announcement: Trump’s FCC Chief Ajit Pai Just Launched His Attack Against Net Neutrality