- The Federal Communications Commission opened the net neutrality debate for public comment on Friday and will accept them for the next three months, Ars Technica reports.
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also released the draft text of the "Restoring Internet Freedom" fact sheet as part of a notice of proposed rule making. The notice stresses that net neutrality hurts customers and the FCC wants to "end the utility-style regulatory approach that gives government control of the internet."
- Instead, the FCC want to "restore the market-based policies necessary to preserve the future of internet freedom," according to notice. By doing so, the FCC is hoping to reverse what it calls a decline in infrastructure "investment, innovation and options for consumers" that occurred following the 2015 implementation of net neutrality rules.
Pai believes the industry should be allowed to police itself, and that regulation keeps ISPs from expanding and upgrading, which in turn curbs job growth and hurts customers.
But representatives from numerous startups disagree. Without net neutrality, they argue, internet providers could slow access to web content and make it more difficult to transfer large amounts of data.
A group of such startups, entrepreneurs, investors and organizations that support them from around the country sent a letter to Pai last week saying that they are "deeply concerned" with Pai's intention to undo the existing legal framework. They said doing so would allow existing providers to discriminate against them and thereby hurt competition.
Other leading groups have lined up in support of net neutrality. In March, more than 170 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, signed a letter calling for the FCC to maintain net neutrality. The Internet Association, which represents companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, also came out against repealing the rules.
Industry associations are not the only ones likely to comment on the FCC's plans. The FCC received 4 million comments prior to issuing net neutrality rules in February 2015, Ars Technica reports. Whether for or against repealing net neutrality, it is likely the FCC will face a deluge of comments.