FCC head to brief Congress on net neutrality rollback

FCC head to brief Congress on net neutrality rollback
© Greg Nash

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai will brief Republican and Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday regarding his plan to roll back net neutrality.

The meeting was originally slated for last Friday, but was postponed. A House Energy and Commerce Committee aide confirmed the briefing, noting that all members of the committee are welcome to attend.

Pai, a Republican, introduced a proposal to curb portions of net neutrality at the end of April that has been met with vehement reproach from Democrats and praise from top Republicans, including House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.), who have long criticized the rules that mandate internet service providers treat all web traffic equally.

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The chairman’s proposal is focused on removing broadband providers from being classified as “common carriers,” which would cede the FCC’s jurisdiction of such companies back over the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Advocacy groups and experts opposed to the chairman’s plan argue that the FTC doesn’t have the necessary regulatory teeth that the FCC does because it can’t establish pre-emptive enforcement rules.

Pai, along with other Republicans and internet service providers, has criticized the net neutrality rules since they went into effect in 2015 under former Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Open Internet Order. They contend that the order is an example of blatant government overreach that is inhibiting growth in the broadband industry.