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FCC slammed for ignoring investigation into fake anti-net neutrality comments

22 November 2017

The commission intends to block any local laws or regulations that "effectively impose rules or requirements that we have repealed or made a decision to refrain from imposing in this order or that would impose more stringent requirements for any aspect of broadband service that we address in this order".

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday said his repeal proposal would "stop micromanaging the Internet".

The consumer impact of a net neutrality repeal is fairly straightforward, in that users may find it more hard to access the content they want to view it, or may be forced to pay more to access certain content. They were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content.

The ACLU also issued a statement opposing Pai's plan. Pai promised to release his entire proposal Wednesday.

"The FCC would still require transparency: Any business practice that would affect the offering of a service has to be disclosed to the consumers, and entrepreneurs can understand exactly how these businesses are operated", Pai says.

"The FCC's net neutrality rules are working well for consumers, and we're disappointed in the proposal released today", Google said in a statement. "Even for this FCC and its leadership, this proposal raises hypocrisy to new heights". While we look forward to reading the details of the order, this action will return broadband in the a regulatory regime that emphasizes private investment and innovation over lumbering government intervention, ending the regulatory uncertainty created by the 2015 rules and the deleterious impact such uncertainty had on investment and job creation.

Taking direction from former president Barack Obama, the FCC approved the broad regulatory scheme over the internet in 2015.

Pai's attack on net neutrality has triggered protests from consumer groups and internet companies.

Screengrab via Reddit
Screengrab via Reddit

NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that "hundreds of thousands of Americans" were likely impersonated in fake comments on the net neutrality docket.

Those rules were passed in 2015 by a Democrat-led FCC which said it wanted to make sure all content, whether from big or small companies, would be treated equally by Internet providers.

Pai, who indicated his plans to roll back the rules back in July, added: "Additionally, as a result of my proposal, the Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015".

While the voting is expected to happen along party lines, million of citizens on both sides of the political spectrum have voiced their support for net neutrality regulations, writing to the FCC to share their opinion.

"The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades", Spalter said in a statement.

The phony comments have shifted the balance in favor of repealing net neutrality, according to Schneiderman rep Amy Spitalnick.

"We are taking the very radical position as a Republican FCC that President Clinton got it right in the 1990s that a market-based approach to the internet is the right way to go", he said.

FCC slammed for ignoring investigation into fake anti-net neutrality comments