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This article was published on April 8, 2017

    FCC Chairman wants ‘voluntary’ net neutrality and critics are ready to fight

    FCC Chairman wants ‘voluntary’ net neutrality and critics are ready to fight
    Rachel Kaser
    Story by

    Rachel Kaser

    Internet Culture Writer

    Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

    It’s been a short time since Congress voted to roll back rules on internet privacy, and it seems the Federal Communications Commission’s Chairman Ajit Pai is not pausing for breath as he moves towards dismantling net neutrality.

    Earlier this week, Pai met with telecommunications groups to discuss a plan to make net neutrality more voluntary than mandatory. Specifically, his plan is to switch from laws to adjustments in the ISPs terms of service, where they would agree not to slow or obstruct internet access. This would move net neutrality out of the FCC’s court entirely and over to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Critics are already tearing Pai a new one over this meeting, in distinctly combative language. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn says:

    We are gearing up for a battle that could eviscerate the widely supported open Internet protections.

    Similarly, Evan Greer, the cofounder of nonprofit Fight for the Future, told Mashable, “We’re gearing up for one hell of a fight.” A spokesperson for the Internet Association, a lobby group representing Facebook, Google, and others, told Recode, “Internet companies are ready to fight to maintain strong net neutrality protections in any forum.”

    Sources told Reuters Pai’s plan could be out as early as the end of this month.