In a speech at the Newseum today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai shared some details about his plan to repeal and replace U.S. net neutrality protections enacted in 2015. These rules were adopted after more than a decade long battle to protect net neutrality, and after a massive amount of input by US citizens. Pai’s approach would leave internet users and innovators with no protections.
FCC Chairman Pai seeks to shift the source of the authority for the Net Neutrality rules away from “Title II” (where it now sits) and back to a weaker “Title I” classification for Internet Service Providers because it is “more consistent with the facts and the law.” We disagree – and we aren’t the only ones. So did the D.C. Circuit Court on three occasions, along with the late Justice Scalia, in the same 2005 Supreme Court case Pai cited. In that case Justice Scalia described what Pai has now chosen as his path, the classification of ISPs under Title I, “an implausible reading of the statute.”
Unfortunately, Pai’s assertions today are just as implausible.
This move is saddening, maddening and unacceptable, but we’re not surprised. This proposal is nothing more than a repetition of the same old ideas discussed by opponents of net neutrality over the past few years.
Net neutrality is under threat and we all need to work towards an “open internet that does not discriminate on content and protects free speech and consumer privacy.” Mozilla has rallied for this fight in the past, and as we have said before, we are ready to protect net neutrality – and the creativity, innovation, and economic growth it unlocks – again, and always. Today was the first clearly articulated threat – we now need to begin mobilizing against these actions. Stay tuned for ways that you can help us win the fight again.