The days before Thanksgiving are apparently ripe for regulatory moves this year. While the DOJ prepares for court in its opposition to AT&T/Time Warner, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is about to unveil plans to overhaul net neutrality.
And by overhaul, he means scrap. Pai will supposedly propose to revoke the Title II status implemented by the previous chairman to give net neutrality rules a firm legal foundation.
The chairman’s opposition to the current regime isn’t exactly a secret. In April he said “The truth of the matter is that we decided to abandon successful policies solely because of hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom.”
Prophecies of doom also feature highly from the other side, which sees lack of the same policies leading to a stifling of innovation where network operators can charge tolls at the last mile bottleneck between content and consumer. Big content may be able to pay the tolls where startups aren’t likely to.
But we have yet to see the actual overhaul plan, so it’s premature to pass judgment. But advocacy groups have been expecting this, and are surely ready to fight. It’s going to be an interesting winter on the regulatory front.
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