Under chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communication Commission has released its 'Restoring Internet Freedom' proposal which, if passed, would eliminate most of the protections that prevent internet service providers from throttling or otherwise controlling access to certain websites, online games, or services.
Introduced in 2015, those Obama-era protections imposed utility-like restrictions on ISPs that aimed to maintain an open internet by preventing companies from slowing or prioritizing web traffic.
Pai's 200-page proposal would eliminate all but one of those net neutrality protections in a bid to stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet." The proposal goes to a vote on December 14.
However many are concerned that, without the rules in place, ISPs could theoretically lock access to certain websites or online games behind an additional paywall, as Business Insider points out is the case already in Portugal,
In a statement given to The Verge, Pai explains that the lone remaining rule would "simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."
From there, the FCC would give the Federal Trade Commission additional oversight to then "protect consumers" from "unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices" that may crop up in the absence of regulation.