Meet the new FCC chairman
Earlier this week, we commented on the threat the new Trump administration poses to net neutrality. Unfortunately, with Ajit Pai on-deck to take over as FCC chairman early next year, the threat has grown bigger than ever. For Pai, the days of net neutrality have been numbered since it was first passed in 2015.
Where do you stand?
The term “net neutrality” has been the focus of much concern and confusion over the past couple of years. It is difficult to determine someone’s stance from the name alone. So let me break it down for you: net neutrality favors equal treatment for all internet traffic. It is supported by content providers Netflix, Google, and Apple, along with us here at The American Genius.
If you want to continue accessing content free from your internet service provider’s biases, you support net neutrality.
In 2015, the FCC and current chair Tom Wheeler affirmed their support by passing the Open Internet Rule.
Where Pai stands
So who would want to stifle this? Well, unfortunately for the public, the non-supporters now include the new President-elect and the future chair of the FCC – figures who undoubtedly wield enough power to shape future internet regulations. Many broadband companies, including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast were opposed to net neutrality from the start, noting it suppresses the ability for further innovation and investment. With net neutrality gone, companies would be able to limit access to content and applications based on how much people pay.
Ajit Pai opposed FCC’s business regulations from the start.
According to him, the future FCC “needs to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation.”
So basically, he wants to ensure businesses are allowed to make as much money as they can, even if that means potentially censoring the internet. He wants new regulation to stem from “proof of market failure,” and promotes more transparency within the FCC.
Where Wheeler stands
While endorsing a more transparent FCC to make policies and voting open to the public seems considerate, putting an end to net neutrality is not favoring public interest. Current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler hopes his successor will consider the interest of all people, not just broadband companies.
“I think it’s an important thing to remember that taking a fast, fair and open internet away from the public and away from those who use it to offer innovative new services to the public would be a real mistake,” he states.
We can only hope that come inauguration day, the new FCC chair feels the same way.