Extending a string of 2017 de-regulatory moves, Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump's appointee to lead the FCC, has formally begun the process of reviewing rules limiting the number of TV stations a single owner can control. Pai, a Republican, set a December 14 vote on overturning rules adopted by the FCC in 2015, saying he wants to move away from "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the internet". "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them".
Under the measure, internet service providers would have to inform customers about issues including blocking, Politico reported Monday.
"Businesses large and small will have a clearer path to invest more in our nation's broadband infrastructure under Chairman Pai's leadership", the post continued.
During President Barack Obama's tenure, the then head of F.C.C Tom Wheeler said that the rules were vital as they prevented companies such as Verizon to low down the operations of services like Netflix.
The FCC's plan has also stirred up heated resistance on Reddit, where numerous users are calling for US citizens to contact their state representatives to demand their support for net neutrality. They were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content.
Republican Senator John Thune said Pai's plan was an improvement over the Obama rules but that "the only way to create long-term certainty for the internet ecosystem is for Congress to pass a bipartisan law".
"The job of the FCC is to represent the consumer", he said.
"This move would likely lead to consumers paying higher prices for the internet access and speeds they have today", Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union, said in an emailed message.
Senator Brian Schatz also shared his thoughts on the plan saying, "If adopted, the FCC's plan will change the way every American gets information, watches movies, listens to music, conducts business and talks to their families". Those who criticize the rules say undoing them is good for investment in broadband networks.
Pai's full proposal will be released on 22 November, a day before the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
"Network providers have business incentives to make their media products more desirable than their competitors, like Netflix or YouTube", the assistant professor said, via CBS News.
"The administration is moving to destroy the openness and dynamism of the internet", Pelosi said in an email message.
Consumers Union called the proposal "an enormous loss for consumers" that "would give internet service providers more power and control over the websites we can visit".