Stackoverflow Blog has recently added an article about FCC's desire to reverse Title II net neutrality.

The short version: A few years back, the United States Federal Communication Commission, in response to numerous complaints and concerns, implemented a set of rules that prohibit Internet Service Providers from blocking specific content providers or charging them for access to their networks. Essentially, a set of rules that prevent your ISP from double-dipping on service you’re already paying them for, or blocking access to specific websites just for the hell of it.

In order to do this, they had to change how ISPs were classified, moving them from a “Title I” classification to “Title II.” And now, the FCC, under a new chairman, is proposing to roll back that change, which would then allow discriminatory treatment of Internet traffic.

The basis of this blog entry seems to be this large document issued by FCC.

The opinions seem to be quite divergent about this matter. While this article indicates that old "rules harmed investment and innovation", this one suggests the exact opposite:

"We found that not a single publicly traded US ISP ever told its investors (or the SEC) that Title II negatively impacted its own investments specifically,"

Question: Why does Federal Communications Commission want to reverse Title II net neutrality after just two years?

  • 4
    Because Ajit Pai. It's not so much the FCC as it is that this has been this guy's stance all along. And he's in charge now.
    – user1530
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


If you are looking for the stated reasons, Ajit Pai - the chairman of the FCC - explained his reasoning in an interview with PBS NewsHour.

Summarized, he said:

  • Net Neutrality could disincentivize companies from building infrastructure
  • A study shows that investment is down by 5.6% since the new rules are in place
  • ISPs are saying that these rules impact them negatively
  • Light-touch regulations and the market were successful in the past
  • There were no (widespread) abuses of the previous rules by ISPs. Confronted with a small list of past abuses, he stated that they are isolated cases
  • Antitrust and consumer protection laws will be enough to prevent abuses

When announcing the decision, Pai also held a much longer speech which can be read at the FCC website. The arguments are mostly the same as in the short NewsHour interview: There were no problems before, and regulations are bad, while the free market is better for everyone.

Specifically, he mentions four things this reversal is supposed to achieve: more High-speed internet, more jobs, increased competition, and protecting online privacy. The first three issues are based on basic conservative free-marked/anti-regulation ideology. The last point is based on the idea that the FTC cannot regulate ISPs right now, because it cannot regulate common carriers.

The FCC also put out a fact sheet which repeats these points.

  • 3
    Hmm, that's strange. I wonder why the ISPs are telling the FCC and their investors different stories...
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:27
  • 1
    @AlexanderO'Mara No, I couldn't find it yet. But this article provides some context for the numbers and other FCC facts on the matter. Feel free to open another question for these numbers (maybe at skeptics.SE), I'd be interested in the study as well.
    – tim
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 18:37
  • 3
    @Alexei He didn't change his mind. His mind was made up before it even passed: theverge.com/2017/1/23/14338522/…
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:04
  • 4
    Valid answer! But some context could help: Ajit Pai is a republican appointed by Trump. Which means it's not surprising he leans towards the "regulations are bad" philosophies.
    – user1530
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:12
  • 4
    I agree with @Alexei - this answer needs the bit of context that other people are adding in comments. Obama's FCC (under Wheeler) voted 3-2 to implement the change, and now Trump's FCC (under Pai) voted 2-1 to change back. No one changed their vote.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 23:07

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