Date
25 April 2018
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has unveiled plans to repeal the rules that prohibit internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content. Photo: Reuters
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has unveiled plans to repeal the rules that prohibit internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content. Photo: Reuters

US agency prepares to hand over internet oversight to FTC

The US Federal Communications Commission plans to turn over oversight of internet service providers to another federal agency as it plans to vote on Thursday to revoke the landmark 2015 “net neutrality” rules, Reuters reports.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai last month unveiled plans to repeal the rules that prohibit internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content. The 2015 rules bar broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to web content.

On Monday, the FCC and Federal Trade Commission said they plan to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate efforts under the new rules. The agencies said the proposal will “return jurisdiction to the FTC to police the conduct of ISPs.”

Pai said Monday in a statement the agencies “will work together to take targeted action against bad actors”.

Under Pai’s proposal, the FCC would no longer bar any specific internet provider practice but require companies to disclose if they block, throttle or offer paid prioritization of internet traffic.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, said the agreement “is a confusing, lackluster, reactionary afterthought: an attempt to paper over weaknesses in the chairman’s draft proposal repealing the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules.”

The FTC will investigate if internet providers fail to make accurate disclosures or if they engage in deceptive or unfair acts or practices. ”The FTC is committed to ensuring that Internet service providers live up to the promises they make to consumers,” said acting FTC chairman Maureen Ohlhausen.

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