by Marguerite Reardon
March 13, 2017
Republicans are saying net neutrality rules are bad for business, while Democrats fear any changes will leave our internet rights vulnerable.
Just two years after adopting its net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission could be on the cusp of tearing them down.
In 2015, the FCC, led by Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, put in place rules to ensure that broadband providers couldn’t abuse their powers by charging companies for quicker access to their customers or unfairly prioritizing traffic.
The FCC is now run by Chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Trump in January. Two weeks ago, in a speech at the worldwide phone industry’s biggest gathering, Pai laid out his argument for why net neutrality has to go, saying that, since the passage of the rules in 2015, investment in broadband infrastructure had declined for the first time outside of a recession. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, during a Senate committee hearing last week, issued his own critique, calling the rules an “illegal power grab” by the FCC.
“In my view, the biggest regulatory threat to economic growth on the internet is the FCC’s open internet order,” Cruz said.