The one thing that was preventing the FCC’s full repeal of net neutrality, published in April, in the United States was White House budgetary approval. But it seems that the Office of Budget and Management has finally taken the time to put its rubber stamp on some specific amendments in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced that the order will be in full effect from June 11, officially superseding the Open Internet Order of 2015 and removing Title II utility classification from internet service providers as designated by the Communications Act of 1934.
“It doesn’t make sense to apply outdated rules from 1934 to the Internet, but that’s exactly what the prior Administration did,” said Pai, a conservative. “Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful Internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored.”
Most of the consumer protection functions will be delegated to the Federal Trade Commission’s processes.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a liberal who dissented in the party-line vote for the order, was “profoundly” disappointed.
“The agency failed to listen to the American public and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “The agency turned a blind eye to serious problems in its process—from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in its files.”
During the public comment period prior to the vote, many of the comments supporting the repeal effort were to found to be sourced from dubious actors such as bots and fraudulent identities.
Individual states have already passed laws regarding net neutrality in direct contradiction to one of the rules of the order. State attorneys general are also collaborating on suing the FCC in support of net neutrality. Meanwhile, the industry is rallying to create a bill for the congress to pass to provide a more permanent grounding for regulations.