August 30th could very well mark the official beginning of the end for the Open Internet. With the closing of the public comment period for the FCC’s proceeding to repeal the 2015 Net Neutrality rules, the record is now full of tens of millions of comments, many of them demonstrably fake. Incredibly, it doesn’t even matter if the facts are real or alternative because Chairman Pai intends to ignore them all so that he can eliminate the rules and protections for Internet users and innovators as quickly as possible – which also explains why he refuses to make public information that is critical to his FCC’s decision making.
It’s no secret that American consumers regardless of party affiliation overwhelmingly support basic rules that protect them and the Open Internet they increasingly depend upon. They expect and deserve the freedom to choose what they see, buy, hear and share. They made that abundantly clear earlier this year when Congress rushed to repeal another set of Internet consumer protections, the broadband privacy rules, and they will do so again. If Chairman Pai intends to pursue that same rash, anti-consumer agenda and expects a different result, he is fooling himself.