Apr 26, 2017

FCC chief launches rollback of net neutrality rules

Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has fired the starting gun for rolling back the Obama-era's signature tech policy: strict net neutrality rules.

The argument: Pai's says his path forward will be better for competition, for the economy and for consumer access and privacy — and get rid of regulations that weren't needed in the first place. "Nothing about the internet was broken in 2015," he said about the current rules. "No, it was all about politics."

Pai's plan:

  • Reverse utility-style regulation for broadband providers and eliminate a broad conduct standard that gives the FCC authority to intervene in ISP behavior on case-by-case basis.
  • Ask for public comment on how the FCC should approach the rules banning internet providers from slowing or blocking content and from creating fast lanes.

The other side: Democratic policymakers, left-leaning groups and the tech industry aren't letting the rules go down without a fight.

What's next: The commission will vote on whether to formally consider his proposal — allowing the public to comment on his plan — at the agency's May meeting. A second vote will be required before any changes to take effect. He says he believes that will happen by the end of the year.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.