New FCC Boss Calls Net Neutrality ‘A Mistake.’
The new head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, once again made clear his disdain for net neutrality at the World Mobile Congress this week. Pai had made his views clear on this subject before, voting down the rules when he served as a commissioner last year.
Now that he’s the boss, Pai has weakened consumer broadband privacy rules governing how your personal data can be shared, ended the embattled agencies attempt to bring greater competition to the cable industry, and terminated the FCC’s inquiry into zero rating.
And to be certain, Pai has net neutrality in his sights and is preparing for the battle ahead. His path, however, isn’t going to be easy.
While the FCC can just roll back the net neutrality rules using the same procedures that created them, they would also need to prove substantial changes have occurred since the rules were introduced. They would also have to open up to public comment—and given the record number of responses (over 4 million, a new record) filed last time, it would seem like something Pai would want to avoid.
So what’s going to happen next? Pai seems intent on taking small steps that are aligned with a larger mission of scaling back the FCC’s consumer protection authority. In the end, the killing blow on net neutrality will likely come from Congress with their scheduled Communications Act rewrite.