WASHINGTON, D.C. – A conference hosted today by R Street Institute in Washington, D.C., left no doubt the FCC has the three votes needed to repeal the 2015 Obama-era “Net Neutrality” rules.
At the live-streamed Internet-broadcast conference, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was joined by Trump-appointed Commissioner Brendan Carr and GOP Commissioner Michael O’Reilly, initially nominated by President Obama in 2013 and re-nominated in 2017 by President Trump.
In their prepared remarks, all three expressed their enthusiasm for a return to the “free and open Internet” previously experienced under the “light-touch” FCC regulation of the Internet that existed prior to 2015.
Pai explained the plan to restore Internet freedom will bring back the same rules that governed the Internet until 3 years ago, when the Obama administration, on a party-line vote at the FCC, imposed Title II regulation on the Internet, regulating the Internet as a common carrier under “Net Neutrality” rules.
The FCC 5-person commission is scheduled to vote on Dec. 15, on Pai’s proposed order to repeal the Obama-era “Net Neutrality” rules.
Experts expect that it will take at least a year for the FCC repeal of “Net Neutrality” rules to be fully in force, allowing time for litigation that is anticipated opposing the FCC’s anticipated vote to repeal.
A return to “Light-Touch” regulation
“The Obama administration applied the heavy-handed sledgehammer of Title II regulations by imposing ‘Net Neutrality’ rules on the Internet, fixing a problem that was not broken,” Pai insisted. “The major results of Title II regulations have been that investment in the Internet has declined, making innovation and the entry of new players more difficult.”
In a previous speech given at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona held in March, Pai cited studies proving previous Obama-era FCC Chair Tom Wheeler “made a bad bet” assuming “Net Neutrality” rules putting the Internet under Title II regulation would not discourage Internet investment.
Pai demonstrated that under the Obama-era “Net Neutrality” rules, the Internet “experienced the first-ever decline in broadband investment outside of a recession,” with broadband investment remaining “lower today than it was when the FCC changed course in 2015.”
Compared to 2014, broadband investment from the 12 largest ISPs declined by 5.5% in 2016 alone.
Eliminating Net Neutrality “heavy-handed” regulation
Pai argued that by eliminating “Net Neutrality” rules, increased investment resulting from less “heavy-handed” Title II regulation would expand the availability of high-speed, low-cost Internet service, not restrict it.
Pai signaled out Twitter as a leading abuser of censorship practices that has “a double-standard” in screening out conservative users in favor of left-leaning liberal users.
“Twitter is the lead offender using algorithms to block speech considered offense,” Pai argued, stressing his view that the Internet content providers are the more serious problem when it came to Internet censorship.
“The real interest of these Internet giants is to use regulation to cement their dominance in the Internet economy,” Pai stressed. “Under Net Neutrality rules, the problem does not lie with Internet Service Providers, but with the delivery of content on the Internet.”
Infowars.com has repeatedly reported that since 2015, when the Obama-era “Net Neutrality” rules were put in place, instances of blocking and censoring have only occurred at a rapid pace on platforms owned by Facebook, Google and Twitter, which all lobbied hard for the 2015 “Net Neutrality” rules, which were carefully crafted so as to not touch those companies.
The implementation of these 2015 Obama-era “Net neutrality” regulations, which were heavily pushed by Google in hundreds of closed-door meetings at the Obama White House, carved out Google and the other Silicon Valley behemoths and secured their position as absolute information gatekeepers.
Since these 2015 regulations passed, Internet giant portals like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have moved to become the judge, jury, and executioner of the contact we read on the Internet, under the guise of eliminating “fake news.”
Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen agreed with Pai that repealing “Net Neutrality” rules would allow market forces to dictate a broader range of ISP services with varying data and pricing policies that she believes will be more responsive to consumer needs.
“The Federal Trade Commission has tools that can protect consumers online more effectively than the Federal Communications Commission,” she argued, stressing that the FCC regulating the Internet as a Title II utility lacked the regulatory authority the FTC has regulating the Internet under trade provisions to protect Internet privacy and to prevent the censorship of ideas and users on ideological grounds.