FCC President Ajit Pai proposed a plan that would eliminate Obama's era regulations.
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The entrance to the building of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington on June 19, 2015. (Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)

The Federal Commission Communications has officially published its regulations that, if pbaded, would replace the net neutrality rules approved in 2015 under President Obama.

These rules, backed by then President Obama and approved by the agency when it was chaired by Democrat Tom Wheeler, prohibited the blockade. and strangulation of legal content sought by consumers online.

Current FCC chair Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Trump, voted against those rules as commissioner and has championed another strategy: fewer less cumbersome regulations to free Internet service providers (ISPs) to invest better and innovate.

Pai's announcement on Tuesday about the proposed new rules – and Wednesday's release of the more than 200-page document that includes the official recruitment order – sparked a clamor for debate on the subject, which It will continue even after the Republican-controlled FCC is expected to approve the order at its December 14 meeting.

Opponents that include consumer interest groups, Congressional Democrats and small and large Internet-based companies condemn the overturning of the 2015 rules as a measure that reduces competition and gives too much power to large ISPs as AT & T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon. It could be said that broadband prices and tolls could be higher.

"This vote will have a negative impact on small and medium-sized Internet companies, and has the potential to decrease jobs and economic growth throughout the system, benefiting a few large organizations," said Christian Dawson, director i2Coalition executive, a group of net infrastructure companies that includes Amazon and Google.

But the proponents, including the telecommunications trade groups and ISP, promote the FCC's plan as a mild form of net neutrality. "This proposal is not the end of the net neutrality rules," said David Cohen, director of diversity for Comcast and senior executive vice president, in a statement.

More: The FCC wants neutrality of the final network. What that means to you

The new rules would require ISPs to disclose any blocking, regulation and prioritization of content, what some call a "fast lane", of their own content or the content of a partner for payment or not. The 2015 rules prohibited blocking, acceleration and paid prioritization. States are also prohibited from enacting their own laws that would conflict with FCC regulations.

This requirement of FCC transparency and the reinstatement of the Federal Trade Commission to monitor broadband services, provides agencies with "the authority to take action against any ISP that does not make its Internet practices clearly known. by consumers, and if necessary apply against any anticompetitive or deceptive practice, "said Cohen.

The FCC proposal also terminates an "Internet Conduct Standard" created by the previous FCC to protect against new ISP practices that harm consumers.

That standard "micromanagement of innovative business models," says the new order. "Rules of conduct are unnecessary because the transparency requirement we adopt, along with antitrust and consumer protection laws, ensures that consumers have the means to take corrective action if an ISP behaves incompatible with the open Internet."

Consumers should keep in mind the protections under the new rules come after an ISP takes an action, says Gigi Sohn, a member of the Institute of Law and Technology Policy of Georgetown and a former adviser to Wheeler at the FCC.

In a column of opinion Mashable, she encourages citizens interested in contacting their representatives in Congress "to get the Republicans to urge Pai not to proceed once they recognize that the repeal of the rules of neutrality of the The network, like the repeal of the aforementioned broadband privacy rules, is extremely unpopular and will harm them at the polls in 2018. "

While this is a divisive issue, Congress could resolve the constant change in strategy of The FCC with updated Internet legislation, editors of Bloomberg suggest in a column.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has suggested such a solution several times. "Innovation and job creation should no longer be relegated to the partisan score," he said in May. "It's time for Congress to finally resolve this issue."

The new rules went much further than expected and could be designed to stimulate Congress to act, say badysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson of the New York technology research firm MoffettNathanson in a research note on Wednesday.

The approval of the new rules will create "a crisis that Congress would feel obliged to address," they said. The result could be a bipartisan bill, they say. "It is likely that these changes are so unpopular that it would be shocking if they are allowed to remain for a long time."

More: The FCC has revealed its plan to repeal the neutrality of the network. It could change the way we use the Internet

Follow USA TODAY journalist Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider .

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