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Scaring Up Title II Fans

Network Neutrality activists dressed up for Halloween — actually, on Oct. 30 — to protest the FCC’s planned rollback of the Title II (common carrier) designation of internet service providers.

The handful of activists gathered outside the closest subway stop to FCC headquarters armed with candy — including Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the snack branded on Pai’s giant office mug — and flyers that tabbed Pai’s initiative a “vendetta against net neutrality built on a mountain of zombie lies.” Those include, to their way of thinking, that the current rules impede investment and innovation.

Free Press President Craig Aaron even dressed up as Pai’s now “infamous” Reese’s coffee mug, so tabbed thanks to some lampooning on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Despite that pushback, the chairman is expected to put forth a Title II item later this month, with the Republican votes to approve it over what will be vociferous Democratic opposition.

The rollback will allow for more flexible business plans, such as usage-based pricing, without what ISPs see as the constant threat of a vague “know it when they see it” standard putting a kibosh on those plans.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.