Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has been eager to loosen FCC regulations since being appointed chair early in the Trump administration, the FCC voted 2-1 to introduce a proposal reversing the FCC’s 2015 rule that regulates the internet like a utility under Title II.
The proposal also seeks to eliminate a ruling tied to the 2015 classification that allows the FCC to look into ISPs if they are believed to be engaging in anticompetitive practices.
Today’s vote doesn’t roll back the rules, but rather opens up a public comment period ahead of a final vote later in the year. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the only Democrat on the panel, was also the dissenter. “While the majority engages in flowery rhetoric, about light-touch regulation and so on and so forth, the endgame appears to be no-touch regulation and a whole scale destruction of the FCC’s public interest authority in the 21st century,” she wrote in her dissent.
The “no-touch regulation” reference is a response to Pai’s earlier description of the FCC under his leadership as “returning to the light-touch approach to regulation” in a February speech.