FCC Reportedly Plans December Vote On Net Neutrality Repeal

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on December 14 on a proposal to gut the net neutrality rules, Bloomberg reports.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a vocal critic of the rules, has not yet unveiled a draft of the proposed new order. It's not yet clear whether Pai plans to propose rules that are weaker than ones passed in 2015, or abolish broadband regulations altogether, according to Bloomberg. Pai reportedly intends to release the draft order the day before Thanksgiving.

The 2015 net neutrality order classified broadband access as a utility service and imposed some common carrier rules on carriers -- including bans on blocking, throttling and charging higher fees for prioritized delivery. Earlier this year, Pai proposed gutting the regulations by reclassifying broadband as an "information" service. If the FCC moves forward with that plan, it may also lose the authority to enforce bans on blocking or throttling service.



Pai has argued that the rules resulted in a decrease in investment. But supporters of the rules, including the Silicon Valley trade group Internet Association and advocacy group Free Press, argue that the opposite is true.

Free Press said recently that its research showed investment by 13 major broadband providers increased since the FCC passed the net neutrality regulations.

On Wednesday evening, the group criticized news of the expected vote. "It’s time to raise hell," Free Press CEO Craig Aaron stated. “Pai’s willingness to trot out alternative facts about broadband-industry investment and the supposed harms caused by these vital rules should worry anyone who cares about the free and open internet."

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