Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement revealing plans to end net neutrality regulations, allowing internet service provider companies to control and charge content to users.
Pai is repealing a decision created during the Obama administration that prohibited ISPs or internet service providers from intentionally stopping or slowing down the internet to users. The decision also prohibited providers from charging extra fees for other services.
Pai acknowledged the decision of net neutrality was what made our internet differ from the rest of the world, but now he says “that decision was a mistake.”
“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.” said Pai.
The FCC’s decision will now give corporations control over the Internet. Companies such as Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE: T), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) will have full control of their service. Comcast alone provides nearly 110 million users internet, nearly a third of the country.
Now, if net neutrality is repealed, ISPs will be able to slow down or block websites for users, but also speed up services for users who pay more as long as it is disclosed to consumers.
This also raises concern for tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, whose services heavily revolve around internet access. The giants fear that if ISPs will impact them negatively drawing in lesser revenue per user/click.
“We are disappointed that proposal announced today by the F.C.C. fails to maintain the strong net neutrality protections that will ensure the internet remains open for everyone,” said Eric Egan, Facebook’s Vice President.
Small companies also say that the FCC’s decision will hurt their businesses. Many smaller companies revolve around the Internet to be able to expand its services and promote itself, but ISPs can also halt or slow down that.
Pai even acknowledged in a Fox News interview that this decision could change internet access.
"In some cases, you can imagine that kind of arrangement being pro-competitive, being good for start-ups and consumers. And in other cases it might not be so worthwhile. And that’s exactly why the Federal Trade Commission is the better agency to investigate it," he said, “"They have a long tradition of investigating anti-competitive.”
Many people view the FCC’s unjust by revoking their access to the internet, but Republicans argue that ending net neutrality will create a stronger economic growth for business.
“You may struggle to access online content you currently enjoy, and you may find that infuriating, but for the GOP, you’re supposed to take comfort in the fact that you’re “facilitating economic empowerment,” said Steve Benen from MSNBC.
The FCC will have a meeting and vote on the proposed repeal on December 14.