While most of us are looking forward to Christmas next month, December might not be such a merry time for net neutrality advocates. Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, plans to hold a final vote on December 14 that will likely kill off all or most of the rules that disallow the blocking or throttling of web content.
Back in May, the FCC voted 2-1 to withdraw the 2015 Open Internet Order that reclassified internet service providers as public utilities. Next month’s meeting will decide the extent of that reversal. Bloomberg’s sources say Pai may call for all of the rules to be abandoned except for the parts that require internet service providers inform customers about their practices.
Pia’s draft order of the net neutrality-killing plans is set to be rolled out to the commission the day before Thanksgiving, with the final vote arriving just over three weeks later.
If Pai’s plans come to pass, and it seems that they almost certainly will, ISPs could slow down certain sites and create “prioritized access,” or internet fast lanes, where edge service providers (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) pay for priority traffic.
July saw companies such as Amazon, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Vimeo, and Etsy join forces with hundreds of organizations for a ‘Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.’ But the protest doesn't appear to have changed Pai's mind.
Despite the massive amount of criticism directed at him by consumers, the US Senate reconfirmed Pai as FCC chairman last month. The vote granted him a new five-year term that started retroactively on July 1, 2016.