Today FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a plan that would "repeal the heavy-handed Internet regulations imposed by the Obama Administration and to return to the light-touch framework under which the Internet developed and thrived before 2015". FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the plan would "restor[e] the 20-year, bipartisan approach under which the free & open Internet flourished."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation disagrees, saying "Instead of responding to the millions of Americans who want to protect the free and open Internet, the FCC instead is ceding to the demands of a handful of massive ISPs". The add that "Chairman Pai is seeking to reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order that established clear but light touch protections for Internet users and Internet innovation."

What astounds me is that both sides are using the same rhetoric, like "light-touch" and "free and open internet", to refer to opposite policy positions. In Ajit's timeline, the net used to be open, then was regulated in 2015, and we're now returning to how it used to be. In EFF's and battleforthenet's timeline, 2015 solidified the existing structure, which will change if the new order is enacted.

To what extent would Ajit Pai's plan return to the pre-2015 regulatory structure, and to what extent would it be an unprecedented regulatory structure? I suppose that a prerequisite is to examine the 2015 plan and determine how much it added new regulations compared to how much it affirmed existing practices.

  • Welcome to Skeptics! What is the claim here? We don't want highly opinion-based answers. – Oddthinking Nov 22 '17 at 3:03
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    Is this as simple as "The system worked one way, without regulation. When it started to change, regulation was enforced to prevent change. One side wants to keep the way the system used to work. The other wants to keep the way the system used to be regulated."? I am not offering this an answer. I am offering this as an example of how the question is unclear. – Oddthinking Nov 22 '17 at 3:05
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    This article sums up what the changes mean: thehill.com/policy/technology/… But this article shows how well ISPs can be trusted: freepress.net/blog/2017/04/25/… – Phil N DeBlanc Nov 22 '17 at 15:34

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