The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, Ajit Pai (pictured above), is set to reveal plans to propose a complete repeal of net neutrality rules, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoting unidentified officials. The policy, implemented during Barack Obama’s tenure, prohibits internet service providers from favouring certain websites and apps over others.
Pai, who was made the FCC head in January, has been vocal about his opposition to net neutrality. In May, the commission had voted 2-1 to advance his plan to withdraw the policy. The Indian-American will present the proposal at a meeting of FCC commissioners on December 14 for a final vote, Reuters reported, citing sources.
Internet providers, including AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc, have supported having net neutrality rules repealed, saying the move could invite investment in broadband networks. Critics have warned that the decision could harm users and small businesses.
The commission’s plan includes getting rid of the general conduct standard that allows the FCC to monitor the behaviour of internet service providers. It also proposes transparency rules that would require companies to inform their customers about their stand on blocking or throttling web traffic, Politico reported. The Federal Trade Commission may monitor the behaviour of internet service providers to check that they are acting in an anti-competitive manner.
Pai has served the US government for 15 years and was a lawyer for Verizon earlier.