Net Neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and so on) should treat all data the same. It has been a hot topic in the United States for years, especially after the FCC voted in 2015 to reclassify ISPs as Title II utilities, essentially making Net Neutrality law.

In January of this year, Ajit Varadaraj Pai was named the new chairman of the FCC by President Trump. Pai objected to the previous Title II legislation, and began to roll back some policies enacted during the Obama administration. In February, he ended the FCC's investigation into zero-rating by mobile carriers (e.g. AT&T's free access to DirecTV Now). In May, the organization announced that it would move forward with rolling back Net Neutrality legislation.

Earlier today, FCC chairman Ajit Pai published his proposal to remove Net Neutrality, or as he put it, "restore internet freedom." In an opinion piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, he said, "This burdensome regulation has failed consumers and businesses alike." Specifically, Pai is looking to roll back the ruling that prohibits internet providers from locking or slowing down the delivery of websites, or charging extra fees for uninterrupted access.

As you might expect, carriers are more than happy about Pai's announcement. Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Charter, and Sprint have all publicly spoke out in support. Most of them say they support an open and free internet, but that Title II regulation harms investment. However, there isn't much evidence to back up that claim. The vote will be on December 14, and for the moment, it is widely expected to be approved.

Tom Wheeler, who served as the FCC chairman from 2013 to 2017, responded with a piece on Brookings. He wrote, "A fair and open internet is the backbone of the digital economy. The FCC has sold out to the wishes of the companies it is supposed to regulate over the consumers it is supposed to protect."

If you care about having an open and free internet, the EFF has set up a page where you can look up your representative's contact information. If you need more evidence that this is a bad idea, just remember that Verizon and Comcast want it to happen.