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Critics Accuse FCC of Delaying Repeal of Net Neutrality to Help Corporate Interests

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is allegedly delaying the repeal of net neutrality to help web providers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, Motherboard reports.

The slow pace of implementing the repeal, which will allow Internet service providers to prioritize certain traffic, is in sharp contrast to the rapid speed at which Pai pushed the new rules through the FCC for approval despite a significant amount of public concern.

For net neutrality to be officially repealed, the FCC must post the rules in the Federal Register while the U.S. Office of Management and Budget must sign off on the replacement protections that the FCC has proposed in its place.

The theory for the delay is that Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T are concerned that states are working on implementing their own net neutrality laws. While companies were able to get language in the net neutrality repeal that bans states from adding consumer protections, the legal authority to do so is uncertain and would be difficult to enforce.

Companies also concerned about an effort in Congress to reverse the appeal. Congress can hold that vote at any point within 60 days of the repeal appearing in the Federal Register. The delay is because the FCC failed to submit the new rule to the Office of Management until March 27, long after the original vote to repeal.

Critics accuse the FCC of intentionally delaying the filing in order to convince Congress to create a more ISP-friendly law. The new laws, under the guise of consumer protection, would actually help corporate interests.

Pai has claimed that net neutrality rules prevented Internet service providers from investing in infrastructure, which is why the repeal had to be rushed through the FCC so quickly in the first place.