WASHINGTON ― When Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump’s pick to chair the Federal Communications Commission, announced his plan to roll back his own agency’s net neutrality rules on Wednesday, he sounded nervous.
“I am confident we will finish the job,” he said, in a somewhat stilted speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “This is a fight we intend to wage, and this is a fight we are going to win.”
If Pai is nervous, he has good reason to be. Net neutrality is extremely popular with both Republicans and Democrats. The activists who support strong rules are loud and well-organized, and the organizations that oppose the rules — cable companies like Comcast and telecom providers like Verizon, HuffPost’s parent company — are not loved. When cable and telecom companies lost the fight against the Obama administration’s strong net neutrality rules in 2015, they lost badly. The fight this time could be even fiercer.