Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content.
Pai argues that net neutrality was part of the FCC's regulatory overreach during the Obama administration. "I would love to have one uniform, robust federal standard protecting net neutrality, but given that the FCC has left a void, the states have to fill it". But now there are fewer rules governing how internet service providers can operate.
In May, a bill was approved in the Senate to save net neutrality rules. The rule stipulates that every ISP must clearly disclose their practices to consumers and that the Federal Trade Commission will regulate any ISP that imposes unfair or deceptive practices.
However, in the op-ed Pai does not defend against any of the common arguments for Net Neutrality. "Consumers want an open Internet". On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception.
Pai has said he agrees with the concept of a "free and open" internet, but disagrees that regulating the service like phone networks is the best way to achieve that goal. That means no speeding up or slowing down connection speeds, and no blocking of specific websites. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy".
There is also 5G internet being rolled out later this year that will bring new wireless home internet options. "But then in 2015, the FCC chose a different course". "Democrats are fighting in the courts and in the Congress to protect Americans' interests and restore these vital protections, and we will continue to demand a vote on Congressman Mike Doyle's resolution to force a vote to restore net neutrality".
"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.
The FTC would theoretically file lawsuits against ISPs that make net neutrality promises and then break them.