For Immediate Release
Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838
Trump’s FCC Chairman Meets with Phone and Cable Lobbyists to Unveil Plan to Destroy the Open Internet
WASHINGTON - President Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, met with phone- and cable-industry lobbyists this week to unveil his plan to undermine the landmark Net Neutrality protections that were passed in 2015.
According to media reports, Pai intends to repeal the Open Internet Order and replace it with voluntary agreements by internet service providers to maintain a yet-to-be-determined set of conditions.
In 2015, millions of internet users pushed the FCC to defend Net Neutrality on the strongest legal grounds. The FCC responded by reclassifying broadband internet access, allowing the agency to use its Title II authority to prevent internet service providers from blocking, censoring, throttling or degrading online content, services and applications.
In the two years since the rules were passed, investment by Title II broadband providers has increased by more than 5 percent compared to the two years prior to the ruling.
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
“Ajit Pai is conspiring with cable and phone lobbyists to take away fundamental safeguards that keep the internet open and free. The idea of replacing landmark Net Neutrality rules with voluntary conditions is an outrage and an insult to the millions who fought for them. It’s clear Pai thinks his real constituents are Comcast and Verizon, not the American people.
“Nothing Pai says about the harms of Net Neutrality rules has come to pass. And none of his alternative facts or empty promises should be believed now. He's set on destroying the open internet and all of the things it makes possible: free expression, economic innovation, popular organizing and so much more.
“Ajit Pai is carrying out Donald Trump and Steve Bannon's orders to destroy public protections and unleash corporations to do whatever they want without consequences. Millions of people will need to speak out to rescue the internet from Trump and Pai's reactionary agenda. They must be stopped.”
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net