FCC Chairman Ajit Pai blasted many individuals and companies for opposing his net neutrality efforts (via Recode). He says that everyone has it wrong when they the rollback of net neutrality regulation would mean the end of the web.
During an event in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, he said that tech giants could pose as one of the bigger threats by discriminating against view points on the web. “They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest,” then added, “but the real interest of these internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the internet economy.”
FCC Chairman blasted his critics on Tuesday, deriding “Hollywood celebrities, whose large online followings give them out-sized influence in shaping the public debate.” Mind you, he didn’t spare big tech companies either. He blasted companies like Google and Facebook as well. Tech companies have urged to stand down and not take down net neutrality regulation. Pai uses Twitter as an example where the social media giant prevented Republican congresswoman from promoting a tweet about abortion. Twitter later changed its stance after public backlash.
“Now look: I love Twitter,” Pai began. “But let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to a free and open Internet, Twitter is a part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”
“And unfortunately, Twitter is not an outlier,” Pai continued. “Indeed, despite all the talk, and all the fear, that broadband providers could decide what internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are in fact deciding what content they see. These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.”
Since Ajit Pai took over as FCC chairman, he’s been doubling down efforts to shoot down net neutrality regulation that were instated under former President Barak Obama. The net neutrality rules subject broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Charter to Title II regulation (utility), so they can’t block access to web pages, slow down connection or prioritize certain content over others. Pai, in his defense, says that these rules adopted in 2015 are “heavy handed,” and that his proposal that’s due to be voted on December 14 will put an end to them entirely.
Critics argue that ending net neutrality regulation would open doors for providers to offer priority or fast lanes, where broadband providers can charge extra to have your content deliver faster. Pai says that ending net neutrality would promote investment in the United States. Comcast is speculated to be one of the companies that is head of the pack to start offering paid lanes.