Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai today moved to kill "Net Neutrality," which requires broadband service providers to provide all consumers equal access to the web.
The Restoring Internet Freedom Order would restore "the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decade," according to Pai.
"Net Neutrality," which went into place during the Obama Administration, prevents big telecoms such as AT&T and Verizon from giving preference to their own digital services.
“Under my proposal,” Pai said in a statement, “the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet.” The changes would also restore the Federal Trade Commission’s right to “police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition.”
Verizon gave Pai its full support. “We’re very encouraged by Chairman Pai’s announcement today that the FCC will move forward next month to restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for Internet services," Kathy Grillo, Verizon senior VP, said in a statement. "The FCC appears poised for a much-needed return to the approach that fostered so many years of Internet openness and innovation."
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic appointee to the FCC, lashed out at Pai's plan.
"Let's roar. Let's make a ruckus. Let's stop this plan in its tracks," she said over Twitter.
Google sided with Rosenworcel, stating “the FCC's Net Neutrality rules are working well for consumers, and we're disappointed in the proposal released today.”
The Writers Guild of America West believes the killing of Net Neutrality paves the way for "total corporate control" of the Internet.
"This order will benefit powerful corporations at the expense of the general public and a competitive, free market, WGAW said in a statement. "Without the rules, ISPs will be free to decide what content is available to Americans and on what terms, striking a blow to consumers and content creators alike."
The National Hispanic Media Coalition fears the loss of online access for miniorities. “Repealing 'Net Neutrality is no small matter, especially for Latinos and people of color who already face substantial barriers in getting online, staying online and having high quality Internet," said NHMC's Carmen Scurato, director of policy & legal affairs. "Today, the Trump FCC is telling Latinos and other consumers that their voices will only be heard as far as their wallets can carry them, by paving the way for paid prioritization."
The Coalition also took aim at Pai's decision to move some oversight to the FCC. "Shifting responsibility for resolving consumer issues to the Federal Trade Commission, which currently lacks the jurisdiction and resources to effectively handle them, is a sad statement of what the FCC stands for today--corporations over consumers," said Scurato.
Pai promises the release of a full proposal tomorrow, the day before Thanksgiving.
The FCC will vote on the measure Dec. 14.