In a sweeping rebuke to internet companies and consumers, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday released a plan to repeal so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations, a move with far-reaching implications for mom-and-pop brokerages and real estate services across America.
Pai’s plan would dismantle the two-year-old Open Internet Order, which prohibits internet providers from blocking or slowing down websites, or charging higher fees for certain websites online and bundling services, much as cable providers bundle certain channels together and charge extra for premium ones like HBO and Showtime.
“Today, we propose to repeal utility-style regulation of the Internet,” said Pai, an Obama appointee to the FCC who voted against the Open Internet Order in 2015. “We propose to return to the Clinton-era light-touch framework that has proven to be successful. And we propose to put technologists and engineers, rather than lawyers and accountants, at the center of the online world. The evidence so far strongly suggests that this is the right way to go.”