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New net neutrality law in the US ‘in three months’

The US Congress could be discussing net neutrality legislation within three months, replacing controversial FCC-created regulations, according to an academic with the ear of the administration, reports the Register. “And new FCC chief Ajit Pai could well favour the kind of neutrality protection Americans enjoyed in 2005 and 2010, before Obama pushed the FCC to apply sweeping Title II regulations to internet services”, says Roslyn Layton . Layton, the only academic to produce empirical studies of the merits of hard vs soft net neutrality, was invited to participate in the Trump Administration’s transition team and can be considered as familiar with the new FCC chief’s thinking. Layton says “Ajit has the power to overturn Title II. He can just do it, and his opponents can hate him. But it’s not his way. And even if he overturned it the court cases would run on.” She cites the case of VoIP pioneer Dan Beringer, who is suing the FCC over paid prioritisation rules. He operates a high definition voice service and says paid prioritisation rules limit free speech. Beringer told a court in 2015 that the FCC could not continue to “lump” him and other entrepreneurs into the same category as service providers. Layton says: “I think action will be teed up very quickly in terms of a repeal, and Congress will do legislation: whether it’s repealed or not in force. Ajit will push it, and that will bring the Democrats to the table to negotiate.” Read more

  • Wednesday, 22 February 2017

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