FCC Reveals Plan to Gut Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

CYBERSPACE—Federal Communcations Commission Chair Ajit Pai on Tuesday announced a drastic rollback of internet rules that allow content providers fair and equal access to the global online network, a decision that experts say will have wide-ranging and restrictive effects on what content internet users can easily access—with adult content likely to be especially hard hit by the rollback.

The proposed repeal of “net neutrality” regulations put in place under the administration of President Barack Obama must now go to a vote of the five-member FCC commissioners panel on December 14.

Tuesday’s announcement is quite concerning, especially since Republican’s presently control three of the five votes and thus it is almost a certainty that this will pass,” attorney Corey Silverstein—whose firm, Silverstein Legal, specializes in representing adult industry clients—told AVN.com. “Unfortunately, net neutrality appears to be the latest victim of the 2016 United States election.”

The Obama-era net neutrality regulations imposed in 2015 require internet service providers to provide equal access to all content transmitted via the internet. But if the regulations, which Pai called “heavy-handed,” are repealed, ISPs such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other large corporations, would be allowed to pick and choose which content gets through to users.

The repeal of net neutrality rules would open the door to ISPs charging large fees to content providers in exchange for preferential treatment—or simply censoring content they find objectionable for any reason by slowing download speeds to a crawl.

When the FCC first proposed the creation of internet “fast lanes,” a proposal that led to the Obama era regulations preventing preferential treatment of certain content providers over others, dozens of popular sites, including prominent adult sites staged an online protest, “Internet Slowdown Day,” to demonstrate the potential effects of abolishing net neutrality.

“Everyone in the adult online world knows that if this is the end of net neutrality, we’re never going to be allowed in that fast lane,” Todd Glider, CEO of the online adult magazine BaDoinksaid at the time.


“Today the FCC has threatened to end the internet as we know it,” Hawaii Democratic United States Senator Brian Schatz said. “If adopted, the FCC’s plan will change the way every American gets information, watches movies, listens to music, conducts business, and talks to their families. The FCC is handing over full control of the internet to providers, leaving the American people with fewer choices and less access.”


Several large porn sites, including PornHubXHamsterManyVids and Kink have already been vocal in their protests against the net neutrality repeal. 


“The throttling of internet speeds should not be at the discretion of broadband companies — this is an invitation for broadband providers to increase their own profits while making internet access more expensive for consumers,” Silverstein told AVN.  “All content should be treated equal and it is a shame that the free expression of information and data will potentially be restricted by broadband providers.”


The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a 27-year-old group advocating online civil liberties, issued a call to internet users on Tuesday to lobby congress to stop the new neutrality rollback


“The FCC today abdicates a fundamental responsibility—but Internet users won’t,” EFF said in a Tuesday https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/11/today-and-every-day-we-fight-defend-open-internet”>statement on its web site. “Today, and every day, we will fight to defend net neutrality. Tell Congress that lawmakers must act to defend our open Internet.”