- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The White House offered support Tuesday for the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to roll back Obama-era net neutrality internet rules.

“We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty,” said White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, has proposed a plan to undo the rules established in 2015, which prevent broadband providers from blocking or slowing content. The move would change a provision that gave the FCC the authority to regulate broadband providers by reclassifying them as common carriers.

“The previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on [internet service providers] through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power,” Mrs. Sanders said.

An official with a digital rights group said the White House’s comments were “far from full-throated support for the FCC’s plan.”

“Voters from across the political spectrum, including more than 75 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump, support strong net neutrality protections that keep the web free of extra fees, throttling, and censorship,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “FCC chairman Ajit Pai is increasingly isolated — he has clearly misjudged the Republican base. No one wants companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to have the power to decide what we can see and what we can say on the Internet.”

She said the White House comments are “a clear signal that they know how unpopular the repeal of net neutrality rules is with voters, including conservatives and libertarians.”

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