FCC chief: Critics of net neutrality rollback overstate fears

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday defended his plan to eliminate the Obama-era net neutrality rules, accusing critics of overstating their fears about what it will mean for the internet.

“They greatly overstate the fears about what the internet will look like going forward," Pai said on “Fox & Friends.” 

He argued that a more hands-off regulatory approach will fuel investment from internet service providers.

"So I think that they also ignore that we need much more investment in networks and infrastructure to get these businesses to take the risks to build these networks, especially in rural and low income America,” Pai continued.

“You need to have light touch, market-based regulation, not micromanagement from Washington, D.C.,” he added.

The Republican FCC chairman announced Tuesday that the agency will vote next month to roll back neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. 

If the proposal passes, it would free internet service providers of restrictions on blocking or prioritizing certain web content as long as they publicly disclose doing so.

Pai said Wednesday that the new policy would simply reflect the internet rules in place during the Clinton administration and through the George W. Bush administration.

The commission will vote on the proposal at its Dec. 14 meeting. With Republicans holding three of the FCC's five seats, the measure is expected to pass.