Last updated: January 26, 2017 - 8:57am
Republicans are eager to turn the page at the Federal Communications Commission after eight years of policies under President Barack Obama that they say have stifled innovation and burdened the tech sector. President Trump’s appointment of Ajit Pai as FCC chairman has raised hopes that many of the rules and regulations enacted under President Obama — including the controversial network neutrality rules — will soon be on the chopping block.
Chairman Pai fought against the enactment of former-Chairman Tom Wheeler’s signature Open Internet Order, which codified net neutrality, the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Republicans like Pai denounced the FCC order for reclassifying internet service providers as [telecommunications services]. The move subjected internet providers to heavier regulation, with the FCC effectively taking over regulatory jurisdiction on issues like privacy from the Federal Trade Commission.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who tried to roll back the net neutrality order through legislation, said Republicans are deliberating how to tackle net neutrality now that the party is in charge of both the executive and legislative branches. “I think getting some certainty on the net neutrality issue is something that industry would like for us to do,” Rep Blackburn said. “Everyone would like to see some certainty there, and everyone would like to see the FCC back in their correct lanes. FTC should have jurisdiction for privacy.”
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