What Is Net Neutrality? Tech Industry United Against Ajit Pai's FCC Plan

What Is Net Neutrality? Tech Industry United Against Ajit Pai's FCC Plan

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United States Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai announced Tuesday his proposal to repeal net neutrality protections passed in 2015. Chairman Pai introduced the proposal in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, in which he called the current net neutrality rules put in place during the Obama administration “heavy-handed internet regulations” that have stifled broadband network expansion and investment.

According to Pai, the decision to pass the Open Internet Order in 2015—which reclassified internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act and provided the FCC with the legal framework to regulate the companies—has left millions of Americans “on the wrong side of the digital divide” without broadband access.

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Despite Chairman Pai’s insistence that small internet providers have been particularly harmed by the Title II classification, at least one small ISP contested those claims. Dane Jasper, the CEO and co-founder of independent internet service provider Sonic, told IBT the plan to roll back net neutrality protections “marks a significant step backwards for consumers and casts a dark shadow over prospects for unlimited, open access to the internet.”

“A competitive market is necessary for customers to have the best service at an affordable price. Instead of favoring the consumer, Pai’s plan will only serve to put more power in the hands of internet service incumbents, stunting innovation and growth," he said. Read More