Thursday, April 27, 2017

New FCC chairman Pai announces plans to dismantle Obama's net neutrality

Timothy B. Lee has an article on Vox describing how new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to deconstruct FCC regulation of the Internet (to borrow a verb from my own DADT-1 book), that is, roll back Obama’s Network Neutrality regulations and the classification of telecom companies as utilities.  The Vox story is here.

Lee notes that the telecom companies have been on good behavior since 2008, because they expected regulation.

Since ISP’s sometimes own content companies, there is fear that they could manipulate traffic to shut out competition. This fear is reflect in past regulation of broadcast TV, which limited the number of television stations a network could own (to 5).

Still, Internet service providers today say they have no plans to throttle smaller companies, but they want very larger content providers like Netflix to be able to pay for special hardware farms (like around Charlotte or around Ashburn VA) or routers to carry their traffic more efficiently.  Pai claims that regulations against pay for fast lanes (like toll lanes on Interstates) prey on a phantom problem that does not exist, and regulations could prevent new Internet technologies from coming on line (from entrepreneurs) or even hamper grid resilience.

Android Headlines had another account here. Here is the text of his remarks April 26 (PDF)   The FCC votes on these May 18 and then there is a comment period to follow.

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