On November 22, 2017, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its rule, which, if passed, will completely eliminate the net neutrality rules established by the Commission—and upheld by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—in 2015. Despite the fact that millions of Internet users have written to the FCC in favor of net neutrality, the new order would replace strong rules protecting the open Internet with a mere disclosure rule. The Internet would be reclassified back as an “information service” rather than a common carrier and require “transparency” by Internet service providers (ISPs). In essence, the rule allows ISPs to block, throttle or offer paid prioritization provided that they comply with transparency rules and disclose these actions. ARL’s more detailed analysis of the 210-page report and order will be available next week.
Commissioner Clyburn has posted a fact sheet, “Understanding Chairman Pai’s Proposal to Dismantle Net Neutrality.”
The FCC will vote on this rule at their next meeting on December 14, 2017.