Net neutrality regulations are getting yet another remake.
The new head of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday launched his long-expected campaign to undo the regulations adopted in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. Specifically, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to loosen the legal structure that placed internet service providers under the strictest-ever oversight of the agency, in favor of a "light-touch regulator framework."
"Going forward, we cannot 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. "Nothing about the internet was broken in 2015."
Pai's plan so far lacks many specifics, but it marks the start of what's expected to be a new months-long debate. The FCC is expected to vote to formally begin the repeal process on May 18. After that, the agency would collect comments from the public and the stakeholders before crafting a detailed approach and scheduling another agency vote to adopt it.
All this means the FCC is beginning a new phase of one of its hottest, longest-running debates: How should the government regulate internet service providers to ensure that they don't act as gatekeepers to Americans' equal and fair access to websites and web services?