The Federal Communication Commisions are hosting a meeting today with one extremely controversial item on the docket: its plan to end net neutrality. The proposal will remove the Title II classification of internet providers, pulling out the legal grounding used to enforce rules like no blocking, no throttling, and no paid fast lanes. In its place, the commission puts… well, nothing. The proposed rules merely require that Internet Service Providers inform you if they’re messing with your traffic. The FCC believes the Federal Trade Commission will take care of any problems that arise.
While Federal Communicaiton Comissions, meetings are usually uninteresting and but today’s is very important and likely to be a bit different. Two of the Federal Communication Commisions’s five commissioners are fiercely opposed to the vote, and they’re likely to go all in when given a chance to speak on it. We’ve also seen protesters disrupt a FCC meeting before to get across their support of net neutrality and while it’s not known if anything is planned for today, it’s certainly something to watch for given the issue’s enthusiastic support.
The meeting starts at 10:30AM ET (7:30AM PT) and is expected to run for two hours. Net neutrality is the fourth item on the docket, so expect at least half an hour of waiting before it comes up.
You’ll be able to watch the meeting stream on the FCC’s website. The service is usually pretty reliable, though we’ll see how it does under the stress of many additional viewers today. I don’t know how many people stream the typical FCC meeting, but I can’t imagine it’s all that many.
Each of the commissioners will get a chance to speak, discussing their support or opposition to the measure. The two commissioners against the proposal, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, are likely to speak at length. FCC chairman Ajit Pai will speak last, then hold a voice vote. With near certainty, the measure will pass 3 to 2. At that point, the FCC will have a few weeks to make final edits before sending the rules off to the Federal Register. Once they appear there, likely in a few months, net neutrality will officially be off the books. This is crucial and very important, becuase this could affect how we all use the internet, and access information.
Date published: 14/12/17
Written by: Joseph Opoku
Follow my social media