FCC chairman on Monday's end to net neutrality: 'Light touch' internet regulations were a 'tremendous bipartisan success for two decades'

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai penned an op-ed for CNET to voice his confidence in the agency's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect June 11.

The order, which dismantles the Obama-era rules commonly referred to as net neutrality, aims to promote "better, faster, cheaper" internet access for U.S. consumers with fewer regulations for internet service providers, Mr. Pai wrote. Net neutrality rules prohibited broadband companies from prioritizing or blocking some content over other content or charging more for premium access, among other regulations.

"The internet should be an open platform where you are free to go where you want, and say and do what you want, without having to ask anyone's permission," Mr. Pai wrote in his op-ed. "And under the [Restoring Internet Freedom Order] the internet will be just such an open platform."

Mr. Pai laid out the "light touch" protections the FCC established in its order, such as giving the Federal Trade Commission authority to police anti-competitive practices among broadband companies and requiring internet service providers to publicize information about their network management practices. He also suggested the net neutrality repeal would help smaller internet service providers that won't have to spend as much on regulatory compliance.

The FCC's order has been met with significant pushback. In May, the U.S. Senate approved a measure 52-47 to subvert the agency's plan to dismantle net neutrality.

However, Mr. Pai maintains the FCC order will support a more open and accessible internet.

"Why am I confident that this approach will work? Because it was a tremendous bipartisan success for two decades," Mr. Pai wrote. "At the dawn of the commercial internet, President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light touch framework to regulating the internet. … Network investment topped $1.5 trillion. Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and Google went from small startups to global tech giants."

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