FCC chief lays out strategy on undoing 'net neutrality' rules

This is what many believe will be the gist of U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai's announcement this coming Wednesday.

He said the rules have led to reduced investment, which he said has cost 75,000 to 100,000 jobs such as laying cable and digging trenches to help bring high-speed internet access to rural and low income areas.

Pai's much-anticipated plan wasn't revealed in detail Wednesday, but he has promised it will facilitate a "return to the tried and true approach" of internet regulation from the Bush and Clinton administrations. The FCC rules require the service provider to treat all web traffic equally and not to block or slow down the traffic to particular websites. In essence, FCC Chairman Pai's plan could allow AT&T, Verizon, and any local telephone company in the states of Oregon, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington to exempt their broadband business from any federal consumer protections. They argue that the rules are hampering investment.

Pai is expected to release the draft text of his initial proposal April. 27 and schedule it for a vote at the FCC's May 18 meeting.

The 2015 net neutrality rules reclassified broadband as a utility, and imposed some common carrier regulations on providers.

Pai's new plan would include only voluntary commitments by broadband companies, according to the New York Times, and the commissioner plans to seek advice from the public on how to best preserve basic open internet principles.

But the advocacy group Public Knowledge warned that Pai's proposal "would throw all of the current net neutrality rules into doubt".

Among all the guilds, it was the most adamant in pushing for the rules in 2015 and is likely to be so in opposing Pai's moves. Long a critic of Title II regulations, which were invoked after the FCC lost two court battles to regulate the Internet, Pai describes them as "a panoply of heavy-handed economic regulations that were developed in the Great Depression to handle Ma Bell".

"Going forward, we can not stick with regulations from the Great Depression that were meant to micromanage Ma Bell", Pai said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

"We fully support reversal", Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in statement Wednesday afternoon. The rules prevent Internet providers from playing favorites by deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

"Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market", the letter said. He also emphasized that he is opposed to Title II which the Obama government utilized to succeed in implementing the net neutrality rules.