President-elect Hillary Clinton wants a lot of things, including a tech-friendly government, but there is one big thing that needs to be done for her tech-loving country to get a break: It needs to get rid of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Clinton and her team are hoping to use a fast-track process to get the FCC’s repeal passed, and have already started working with lawmakers to push the issue.
The FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality is a blow to the tech industry, which argued that the rule would protect the open Internet and innovation.
The rule was widely criticized, and a majority of the public said they wanted to see net neutrality restored.
But net neutrality advocates have made it clear they are willing to compromise.
The telecom industry and others are willing for a deal that allows the FCC to keep the net neutrality rules, but would protect Internet users from blocking and throttling by broadband providers.
And even if the FCC does not restore net neutrality, the FCC would still be able to impose other net neutrality regulations if it wanted to, including ones to keep ISPs from slowing down and blocking Internet content.
As a result, the Clinton administration is also working with the Senate to pass a bill that would protect net neutrality in a bipartisan way, and would make it harder for broadband providers to block and throttle content on their networks.
The bill would also block any new rules from coming into effect unless the FCC agrees to do so.
“This bill will make it easier for Congress to get net neutrality back in place,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee.
“We’ve been working to get this done, and I am pleased that we’ve got bipartisan support,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, adding that the FCC is “actively looking at a path forward” to get it done.
Pai, who is expected to be nominated to replace Republican FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, is expected on Friday to outline his proposal.
The bipartisan deal that the Clinton and Pai plans are in tandem with is the latest in a series of efforts to undo the Obama-era FCC net neutrality protections.
Pai and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced legislation that would block the FCC from enforcing net neutrality restrictions on ISPs, while the Trump administration has also been working on a proposal that would allow the FCC and other government agencies to regulate broadband providers and ISPs like Netflix and Facebook.
A major sticking point between the Clinton-Pai and Pai-Carper plans is the FCC proposal to keep net neutrality intact.
The Clinton-Carbonneau plan, however, would keep the FCC in place while the FCC tries to find a way to restore net-neutrality protections.
The bill has a lot in common with the legislation the FCC passed in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump, which included the repeal of net neutrality.
The Clinton-Casper bill would make net neutrality more like Title II, the so-called “common carrier” regulations that govern broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon.
In this type of policy, Title II rules are designed to protect consumers from unreasonable internet usage.
Under Title II regulation, ISPs are required to treat all customers equally, regardless of their Internet service provider.
The proposal also would not prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling content on the internet.
The repeal of Title II will allow the Commission to focus on broadband and other digital services, Pai said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Paying more attention to broadbandWhile the Clinton team is working on the Clinton Internet Act of 2018, the Obama administration has been working for years on an even more ambitious plan to get internet service providers to treat broadband service as a utility.
That bill was blocked by the Trump-Pence administration in 2015, but the FCC has been pushing the issue for several years now, and has already issued its own draft of a bill to repeal the current FCC rules.
The FCC’s proposal has the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate, and it is likely to be adopted by the end of the year.
The plan includes a number of measures to help ISPs and the Internet community, including:The Clinton campaign is also encouraging voters to contact their elected representatives and urge them to support net neutrality repeal, which they say will protect consumers, innovation and competition.
“A lot of people have been asking us about this issue, and the Clinton campaign has been engaging with the American people to find out how they can help and to get involved in this issue,” said Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Clinton presidential campaign.
“And so I think we have a good chance of getting it done and having it enacted and signed into law.”
The Clinton team said they would be working to make sure their surrogates on the campaign trail make it a priority to get Congress to support the repeal.