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FCC Chairman Expected to Outline Net Neutrality Plans on Wednesday (Report)

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Ted Johnson
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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is scheduled to speak on Wednesday on the future of internet regulation, with a report saying that he will outline his plans for net neutrality.

Pai’s speech to conservative group FreedomWorks will be at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Recode reported on Monday that Pai will reveal his plans for how to move forward on net neutrality, the set of rules of the road for broadband service that prohibit them from blocking or slowing content, or from creating “fast lanes” for companies that pay for speedier access to consumers.

An FCC spokesman confirmed Pai’s speech, but did not provide other details.

Pai has been a critic of the FCC’s approach to net neutrality, in which internet providers were classified as common carriers. That gave the agency the legal underpinning in 2015 to pass a robust set of rules that governed internet traffic.

Pai has expressed support for a set of net neutrality principles, and has reportedly been mulling a plan in which telecom and cable providers would agree to abide by rules on a voluntary basis.

At an FCC meeting last week, Pai said that he thinks “everybody needs to recognize that there is common ground here, and there is room for an agreement here.”

Last week, he met with Silicon Valley companies such as Apple and Facebook, and he met with telecom providers earlier this month.

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