Washington, D.C. partner Laura Phillips was quoted in a Law360 article titled “Pai Tests Waters on Leaving Net Neutrality to Providers.”
The article examines reports that are surfacing that Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is taking meetings with industry groups to discuss how the FCC might revamp net neutrality rules adopted in 2015 and has reportedly asked providers if they would make voluntary commitments on matters of Internet openness and transparency. Pai met with broadband providers last week to discuss a voluntary commitment plan, which is the first specific indication of how the new FCC Chairman might take action to reverse course on the 2015 Open Internet Order. After Pai met with broadband providers and members of the Internet Association separately, Laura told Law360 that reports of these meetings indicate that Pai is testing the waters, but demonstrating a preference for FTC enforcement of voluntary commitments as opposed to the FCC having its own set of enforceable requirements.
“It would appear that the chairman is throwing up some trial balloons with various audiences and seeing what various groups are thinking about the issues — whether there’s a need for continued FCC actual rules as opposed to voluntary standards, which is more what the Federal Trade Commission historically has done,” she said. “The big question is, is the FCC basically going to play an independent role in this area or not?”