The Death of Net Neutrality – Part 2

Earlier we reported how new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai had shut down ongoing investigation into wireless carriers’ free-data offerings as violating the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

This week Pai chaired his first FCC meeting and one of the agenda items involves the “Transparency Rule” stemming from the net neutrality rules.

The FCC’s Open Internet Transparency Rule empowers consumers to make informed choices about broadband services. The Rule requires that what providers tell you about their broadband service is sufficient for you to make informed choices – including choices about speed and price. The Rule also requires that providers’ information about their broadband service must be accurate and truthful.

The rule covers disclosures about “network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of service.” The rule applies to service descriptions, including expected and actual broadband speed and latency. The rule also applies to pricing, including monthly prices, usage-based fees, and any other additional fees that consumers may be charged. Additionally, it covers providers’ network management practices, such as congestion management practices and the types of traffic subject to those practices.

The rule currently exempts ISPs with fewer than 100,000 customers; but the FCC voted to expand this exemption to ISPs with fewer than 250,000 customers.  Pai claimed the amendment saved “small businesses” from “needless regulation,” and also “relieved thousands of smaller broadband providers from onerous reporting obligations.”

 

Republican Commissioner O’Rielly, however, believes the exemption should be much higher and added that the amendment “does not address a far more important matter, whether or not these reporting requirements should exist at all.”

Pai added that plans to repeal net neutrality have not be fully “fleshed out.”

 

 

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