April 21, 2017
After meeting with execs at Cisco, Facebook, Intel and Oracle to discuss future plans for net neutrality, FCC chair Ajit Pai believes tech companies are interested in finding “common ground.” Most Internet companies have expressed support for “net neutrality, saying the protections guard them from paying tolls to get their content in front of consumers,” reports The New York Times. “Pai said that he agreed with the broad principles of net neutrality but that the rules, created by the commission in 2015, went too far in restricting broadband providers.”
As part of his deregulation push, Pai passed two actions yesterday “that will ease pricing restrictions on telecom giants and give broadcast television companies greater latitude to bulk up through mergers.”
Pai has already “abolished a proposal to open the cable box market and frozen a program for broadband subsidies for low-income households,” notes NYT. Next on his agenda, Pai plans changes to net neutrality and the classification of broadband as a utility.
Companies such as AT&T and Comcast have “lobbied the commission to roll back rules” that “would directly benefit from the recent actions,” and Pai believes “telecom companies should have more freedom to set their own rates.”
The Internet Association, however, a trade group representing Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pandora, Netflix and others, met with Pai “and urged him to keep the rules intact,” explains NYT.