In addition to the endless lists of chaotic and unreal moves made by the new administration in the past few weeks, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is already siding with corporations at the expense of the public, content creators, and media platforms.
The new FCC chairman and former lawyer for Verizon, Ajit Pai, took the lead in rolling back consumer protection regulations and the net neutrality progress made during the Obama administration by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, including closing out the inquiry in zero-rating offerings by AT&T and Verizon that violated the FCC’s Open Internet order. Comcast had also received an inquiry request by the FCC for its Stream TV content that was exempt from applying to a customer’s service data caps. That too is in the circular file.
When I saw the New York Times notification pop up on my phone last night, “Obama Urges F.C.C. to Adopt Strict Rules on Net Neutrality,” I wasn’t convinced that what I read would make me happy. It wasn’t as clear as the Guardian’s headline, “Obama calls on FCC to make ‘strongest possible rules’ to protect net neutrality.”