Two weeks after commissioners presiding over the FCC voted along partisan lines in a 3-2 split to approve its new Net Neutrality regulations, the 400-page plan has been released to the public.
Because a number of changes were made to the proposed regulations after the initial public hearing, critics charged that the rules were passed in a cloak-and-dagger manner unbecoming of ‘open government’, and it may guarantee their day in court, reports the LA Times.
Major Internet providers AT&T, Verizon and others sharply opposed the regulations and indicated that the fight will ultimately be resolved either by a federal judge or by Congress. The agency’s two previous attempts at Net Neutrality were overturned by the judiciary.
The last 87-pages of the regulations comprise statements on the rules by the five commissioners, 64 of which are a sharp and heavily footnoted criticism from Commissioner Ajit Pai. Pai has led the charge for Republicans in opposing Chairman Wheeler’s push for Net Neutrality. It is expected that Congress and the courts will rely heavily on his testimony in deciding the ultimate fate of the rules.
In a 30 minute Feb. 25th interview, Pai sat down with with Reason TV and explained his position. The bottom line, he said, was that there just isn’t a reason for the FCC to get involved with internet service at this point:
“Nowhere in the 332-page document that I’ve received will anyone find the FCC detailing any kind of systemic harm to consumers, … some kind of systemic problem that requires an industry-wide solution. That simply isn’t here.”