by Countable | 11.22.17
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it plans to repeal "net neutrality" rules that require internet service providers (ISPs) treat all web traffic equally.
It's a hot-button issue. And here are some of the Hot Takes on it:
Speaking the morning after the announcement on Fox & Friends, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that critics:
"Greatly overstate the fears about what the internet will look like going forward. 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."
"You need to have light touch, market-based regulation, not micro-management from Washington D.C."
And like a proud father holding his newborn, Pai tweeted out a picture of himself cradling his "plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet":
Here's my plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet. This time--unlike in 2015--you can read it before the @FCC votes. https://t.co/xcPDkxPgW7 https://t.co/wnshqlJoMa pic.twitter.com/wACDCspuEP— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) November 22, 2017
Tom Wheeler, the former Democratic FCC chairman who drafted the initial 2015 net neutrality rules, wrote in a blog post that:
"The FCC has sold out to the wishes of the companies it is supposed to regulate over the consumers it is supposed to protect. For more than a decade, previous Republican and Democratic FCCs have tried to bring fairness and balance to the delivery of the internet to consumers. Every one of those efforts has been opposed by the corporations that consumers rely on to deliver the internet."
"Now the Trump FCC has simply cut to the chase, there is no need for the big companies to sue — they’ll just be given everything they want.”
Sen. Ted Cruz did not share Wheeler’s concerns. The Texas Republican tweeted:
I applaud Chairman Pai for championing freedom & innovation on the Internet, and urge the FCC to approve his plan. The Internet has transformed the way the world engages in commerce and should never have been classified as a regulated public utility. -> https://t.co/1v4460P3Cv— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 21, 2017
Missouri Sen. Roger Wicker also tweeted his support for the net neutrality rollback:
Wicker, however, confused his constituents when he followed up the above tweet with one saying, "I will continue to work with my colleagues to put a legislative solution in place that enshrines #NetNeutrality protections into law and fosters an environment where broadband is accessible, affordable, and reliable for all Americans."
There was no ambiguity in the twitter feed of Georgia Rep. Tom Graves:
After a thorough, transparent process, Chairman @ajitpaifcc & @fcc took another step toward restoring internet freedom. #NetNeutrality regulations stifle innovation & competition, while doing nothing to protect consumers. https://t.co/1jFg4Z79q8— Tom Graves (@RepTomGraves) November 21, 2017
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont disagrees that net neutrality rules "stifle innovation & competition, while doing nothing to protect consumers." He tweeted:
By dismantling #NetNeutraility, @AjitPaiFCC is building a Great Corporate Firewall, dividing Internet into ‘haves’ & ‘have-nots’ & eroding free speech. No wonder FCC is trying to bury this news with the holiday. Shameful. Hurts ordinary Americans, small firms, & an open internet.— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) November 21, 2017
Leahy’s fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, echoed this sentiment:
Once again, the Trump administration sides with big money and against democracy. If this passes, the internet and its free exchange of information as we have come to know it will cease to exist. #NetNeutrality https://t.co/1oKLkWOpYn— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 21, 2017
Opposition to the net neutrality rollback wasn’t limited to Vermont Democrats. Washington state Sen. Patty Murray tweeted:
#NetNeutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) November 21, 2017
And Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin sent out a series of tweets:
This is bowing to corporate interests, once again, which seems to be emblematic of this Trump era. I have long believed that ISPs should not be permitted to charge more or throttle back speeds, or lock-out small content providers. This is a dangerous step.— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) November 21, 2017
The FCC’s decision will be put to a vote at the agency’s December 14 meeting. With the GOP controlling three of the commission’s five seats, the net neutrality rollback is expected to pass. One of two Democrats on the commission, Mignon Clyburn, tweeted a preview of her planned vote:
Text of @AjitPaiFCC’s proposal to dismantle #netneutrality has been released. It’s worse than one could imagine. Confused what it all means? Read my 2-page fact sheet: https://t.co/9xek8r8r8w #SaveNetNeutrality. pic.twitter.com/DivJ4Eawos— Mignon Clyburn (@MClyburnFCC) November 22, 2017
But Brendan Carr, one of the Republicans on the commission, tweeted:
Here it is. In break from past administration, FCC releases text of Restoring Internet Freedom order before agency votes. Glad to support the repeal of a regulatory overreach: https://t.co/ZbSaWQfweW— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) November 22, 2017
Under the 2015 rules, the FCC reclassified broadband as a utility, which gave the commission the authority to regulate broadband like telephones. Pai’s proposal would shift that authority to the Federal Trade Commission. Maureen Ohlhausen, who was designated to serve as Acting FTC Chairman by President Donald Trump, welcomed the latest proposal, tweeting:
My statement on the announced #FCC Restoring Internet Freedom draft order, which would return FTC #competition & consumer protections to broadband subscribers. #NetNeutrality https://t.co/V1Qk2wkhZD https://t.co/BArOw41HCN— Maureen Ohlhausen (@MOhlhausenFTC) November 21, 2017
It wasn’t only legislatures hash-tagging. Pai retweeted this comment by investment mogul Mark Cuban:
Net neutrality was just the door opener to create a Department of the internet . I don't see anything good coming from trying to solve a problem that doesnt exist— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 22, 2017
Netflix, meanwhile, tweeted its support of "strong #NetNeutrality:
Netflix supports strong #NetNeutrality. We oppose the FCC's proposal to roll back these core protections.— Netflix US (@netflix) November 21, 2017
Did you take to twitter? Did you tweet @AjitPaiFCC or @YourReps? Let us know in the comments. And whether you agree with @mcuban or @SenSanders, hit Take Action and tell your reps. Or use our widget to contact Pai directly.
— Josh Herman
Written by Countable