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  • 02.03.17

Under Trump, FCC reverses course on net neutrality and subsidized broadband

With a new Republican majority, the Federal Communications Commission began to reverse course on net neutrality, abruptly closing inquiries into cellphone carriers’ free video streaming programs. “Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, recently named FCC chairman by President Trump. “Instead, we will concentrate on expanding broadband deployment and encouraging innovative service offerings.”

The FCC also removed nine companies recently added to a program providing subsidized broadband to the poor, The Washington Post reports, saying the agency needs time to study ways “to prevent further waste, fraud, and abuse” in the so-called Lifeline program. Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn criticized both moves and, citing an episode of The West Wing, rebuked the Republican majority for the sudden release of multiple decisions just before the weekend.SM