The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the full 400-page version of its net neutrality rules – and was instantly blasted by one of its five commissioners.
Republican commissioner Ajit Pai (pictured) accused the US regulator of “turning its back on internet freedom” with the new rules, following a critique from fellow commissioner Michael O’Rielly reported by Mobile World Live.
Pai and O’Rielly were the dissenting votes as the five-strong commission backed net neutrality at the end of last month.
“For twenty years, there’s been a bipartisan consensus in favour of a free and open Internet—one unfettered by government regulation. So why is the FCC turning its back on Internet freedom?” asked Pai.
“It is flip-flopping for one reason and one reason alone. President Obama told it to do so,” he continued.
The nub of Pai’s allegation is that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was blindside when the President came out strongly in favour of net neutrality at the end of last year
The net neutrality rules will have a number of dire consequences, he predicts. These include broadband bills to go up; network speeds will be slower; less competition; and government control of the internet.
Previously, the commission put out only a cutdown summary of the ruling. Yesterday’s 400 pager is the full documentation that will now be extensively scrutinised by supporters and opponents alike.