FCC reverses net neutrality ISP transparency rules


Feb 23, 2017 - Small ISPs will no longer be required to inform customers of their network management practices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to roll back some net neutrality regulations that require broadband providers to inform customers about their network management practices.

The Republican-controlled FCC on Thursday suspended the net neutrality transparency requirements for broadband providers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers. Critics called the decision anticonsumer.

The transparency rule, waived for five years in a 2-1 party-line vote Thursday, requires broadband providers to explain to customers their pricing models and fees as well as their network management practices and the impact on broadband service.

The commission had previously exempted ISPs with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, but Thursday's decision expands the number of ISPs not required to inform customers. Only about 20 U.S. ISPs have more than 250,000 subscribers.

The five-year waiver may be moot, however. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Republicans in Congress are considering ways to scrap a large chunk of the net neutrality regulations approved by the agency just two years ago.

Small ISPs have argued the transparency rules amount to burdensome and costly regulations, while consumer advocates have argued that broadband customers have the right to know when a provider is throttling traffic. The exemption will allow small ISPs to redirect the money they spend on compliance, Pai said.

"I firmly believe that these ISPs should spend their limited capital building out better broadband to rural America, not hiring lawyers and accountants to fill out unnecessary paperwork demanded by Washington, D.C.," he said.

However, the White House Office of Management and Budget, under former President Barack Obama, found that compliance with the transparency rules takes each broadband provider less than seven hours a year, noted Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat. The new waiver exempts some large companies with smaller broadband subsidiaries from the transparency rules, she said.

"In an ongoing quest to dismantle basic consumer protections for broadband services, the majority has decided to exempt billion-dollar public companies from being transparent with consumers," Clyburn added. "This represents yet another in a series of steps being taken to jettison pro-consumer initiatives."

The commission's two Republicans defended the change. In January, the House of Representatives passed a bill with a similar exemption in a voice vote with no dissenters, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly noted.

The vote represents a "sensible and soundly justifiable exemption for small internet service providers from unnecessary and expensive" regulations, O'Rielly said.

Credit to the Author and source:


Staff member
Yeah, while EU improves the situation with people's privacy step by step, US government does the opposite.


Yeah, while EU improves the situation with people's privacy step by step, US government does the opposite.
Thanks to the Commander In Chief
I'll keep (and I hope everyone else) will to - the politics out of our precious forum as well as personal feelings on the US political government at this point in time. It's a 4 year hitch or hiccup - no matter what. Pray for us. . .

Boo Berry

Moderator + Beta Tester
I"m not surprised by this and I wouldn't be surprised if the FCC threw net neutrality out completely.


Staff member
I"m not surprised by this and I wouldn't be surprised if the FCC threw net neutrality out completely.
That would be really disappointing. Ditching net neutrality by the US will serve as a justification for making the same steps by other countries politicians.


I"m not surprised by this and I wouldn't be surprised if the FCC threw net neutrality out completely.
That would be really disappointing. Ditching net neutrality by the US will serve as a justification for making the same steps by other countries politicians.
Open Internet Order:
Order will enact strong, sustainable rules grounded in multiple sources of legal authority to protect the Open Internet and ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future.
view online
.txt - https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-24A1.txt
.pdf - https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-24A1.pdf
Docx - https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-24A1.docx

(Please note: this summary provides only a high-level overview of some key aspects of the Open Internet Order. More thorough analysis is available in the Fact Sheet and in the Order itself.)

An Open Internet means consumers can go where they want, when they want. This principle is often referred to as Net Neutrality. It means innovators can develop products and services without asking for permission. It means consumers will demand more and better broadband as they enjoy new lawful Internet services, applications and content, and broadband providers cannot block, throttle, or create special "fast lanes" for that content. The FCC's Open Internet rules protect and maintain open, uninhibited access to legal online content without broadband Internet access providers being allowed to block, impair, or establish fast/slow lanes to lawful content.

The Rules
Adopted on February 26, 2015, the FCC's Open Internet rules are designed to protect free expression and innovation on the Internet and promote investment in the nation's broadband networks. The Open Internet rules are grounded in the strongest possible legal foundation by relying on multiple sources of authority, including: Title II of the Communications Act and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. As part of this decision, the Commission also refrains (or "forbears") from enforcing provisions of Title II that are not relevant to modern broadband service. Together Title II and Section 706 support clear rules of the road, providing the certainty needed for innovators and investors, and the competitive choices and freedom demanded by consumers.

The Open Internet rules went into effect on June 12, 2015. They are ensuring consumers and businesses have access to a fast, fair, and open Internet.

The new rules apply to both fixed and mobile broadband service. This approach recognizes advances in technology and the growing significance of mobile broadband Internet access in recent years. These rules will protect consumers no matter how they access the Internet, whether on a desktop computer or a mobile device.

Bright Line Rules:
  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no "fast lanes." This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.
To ensure an open Internet now and in the future, the Open Internet rules also establish a legal standard for other broadband provider practices to ensure that they do not unreasonably interfere with or disadvantage consumers' access to the Internet. The rules build upon existing, strong transparency requirements. They ensure that broadband providers maintain the ability to manage the technical and engineering aspects of their networks. The legal framework used to support these rules also positions the Commission for the first time to be able to address issues that may arise in the exchange of traffic between mass-market broadband providers and other networks and services.
The biggest areas I'm concerned with is Content, Price and Privacy.
Taking away the black and white understandings to abide by and opening up many new gray areas - for each ISP and content provider to serve up the internet as they wished. (Mail - Television - Telephone all have had Government rules to adhere too.)

@Boo Berry hope not as technology thrusts us everyday in to a digital world.
@avatar other countries politicians should be wiser than ours are right now.

The US Government wants to throw a lot of it's now supported subsidies and programs back in the laps of the States - which most are running at boarderline broke already. I feel being POOR in the US is going to take on a new meaning in the next few years.

The Boarder Wall that's been spoke of in the US is going to be a double bladed sword - not only to keep some out, but to keep all in as well. With it's mere wordage as a name, the meaning now comes with a lot more on the table of underlying principles than just a physical barrier to stop something at our outer most edges. It will at it's worst be used to categorize and class all citizens that the Civil liberties or personal freedoms that are personal guarantees of the Constitution especially its Bill of Rights was meant to protect against. When up is to mean down and in is to mean out, now an abstract understanding will be applied, it will not be as clear as night and day. Least I hope not a definition change - as the man said I made my Billions with the Law. High priced attorneys bending law definitions to their real meanings and yielding loopholes. Once your rich the law is open to interpretation, which should not be the case unless it serves to benefit the poorest of people too.

I truly see a greater need for Adguard's Team to beef up it's privacy (Stealth Mode module) now more than ever, as @avatar has mentioned, if other countries should follow suit in allowing less internet freedoms, then whatever protections it's to offer in ones privacy that Adguard will come to offer, will make it not only a household NAME here, but being a Worldwide Leader for the lesser amounts of online Privacy afforded to all the rest of worlds populations in all countries.

Gass :D

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That would be really disappointing. Ditching net neutrality by the US will serve as a justification for making the same steps by other countries politicians.
Just ran across this-
31st March 2017
The next question we should ask ourselves is, “Well, is there already something in place to stop this?
-Under the Wiretap Act (18 USC § 2511), it is already illegal for ISPs to divulge your private information to third parties without first having your consent.
-All of this already establishes the basis for the position that the FCC rules were not only unnecessary, but also added more burdens to smaller providers to an already enormous list of rules.
-The point is that there is really very little reason to panic with regards to the Congressional repeal.

"If we really want the Internet to be free and open, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt for us to look outside our fences and see what other countries are doing. It is no coincidence that the countries with the highest freedom of choice for their customers and highest connection speeds also happen to have the least amount of telecommunications regulations. Because almost anyone can enter the market, almost anyone does, making larger ISPs feel constant pressure from smaller ones and giving them the incentive to add value to their subscribers rather than sit comfortably in an established regional quasi-monopoly as they do in the U.S."

A day before the same site ran this on March 30th "US Overturns Internet Privacy Rules – What This Means for You"

Two different authors working on the same site.

The dated first article says to go or look for "privacy-oriented ISPs" and/or "cell provider with excellent privacy record".
As the first author and date suggests if not wanting to change or of limited options - using a VPN is the simplest option.
It's also a site which sells products by other software developers having listings for many - I find Adguard Premium: Lifetime Subscription offered here too.

Gass :D