WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 — Bolstering Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in advance of his Senate confirmation hearing, the White House late Tuesday said the Trump Administration was committed to Pai’s plans to roll back net neutrality regulations put in place by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
“The administration believes that rules of the road are important for everyone - website providers, internet service providers, and consumers alike,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Sanders said that she was replying to a request made of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, by BroadbandBreakfast.com, as to whether Trump supported the net neutrality regulations. A large number of Silicon Valley companies support former President Obama’s net neutrality rules. These companies highlighted their importance during its “made in America” week.
The Obama administration went about imposing such rules the wrong way, said Huckabee Sanders. She was referring to Wheeler’s decision to reclassify broadband internet service under Title II of the 1934 Communicaitons Act governing regulated telephone utilities, rather than under Title I’s provision for lightly-regulated information services.
“We support the FCC chair's efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules, and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty,” she said.
Neither Huckabee Sanders nor Spicer responded to emails asking for comment on how the White House’s support for rolling back network neutrality regulations fits with an agenda to promote “made in America” industries.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat and longtime proponent of network neutrality, said that the Trump administration’s stance on network neutrality was another example of deregulation run amok.
“President Trump and his Republican allies are waging an all-out assault on every front they can on our core democratic values,” Markey said. “Whether it’s health care, immigration, climate change, or net neutrality, they want to end the vital protections that safeguard our families and to hand over power to corporations and special interests.”
But Markey added that consumers, Congress, and the courts would stop the Trump deregulatory agenda.
“Entrepreneurs, grassroots advocates, online companies and millions of Americans are committed to protecting net neutrality, and they will continue to make their voices heard.”