FCC chairman Ajit Pai was supposed to be receptive to public feedback on his proposal to repeal net neutrality rules that are currently in place, rules that prevent ISPs and wireless carriers from blocking or throttling Internet traffic based on content, among other things. Instead, he has repeatedly made it clear that the whole process is a farce. The latest example of that is a cheeky video featuring Pai in a Santa Claus suit telling us all the things we can do on the web once is no longer neutral.
This would be fine, if someone else or some other agency put together the video, and it didn't star Pai. The gist of the argument is that net neutrality advocates are overreacting, and that once the FCC votes to strip away existing protections that prevent ISPs from abusing their power, the Internet will essentially be the same as it is right now. As the argument goes, it's another Y2K situation, basically, where doomsday fears are unfounded.
Fine, that's one viewpoint. We don't agree with it here at HotHardware, and neither do many of the Internet's pioneers who wrote an open letter to the FCC saying it does not understand how the Internet works. But there are always two sides (minimum) to an argument. That's not the issue. What's annoying about the video is that it underscores how Pai and the FCC at large are dead set on proceeding with the proposal, no matter how loud the outcry.
The FCC is a government agency, and the government is supposed to be "of the people, by the people, for the people," to borrow from Abraham Lincoln's famous speech at Gettysburg. There is a process at play here. A draft of Pai's proposal was made public several months ago, and subjected to a commenting period in which anyone and everyone was free to look over the details and provide feedback. And millions of people did.
There have also been protests and various letters by advocacy groups urging the FCC to reconsider. None of it matters though—Pai has a plan, and come hell or high water, he's going to proceed with it. And let's be honest, deep down, we all know the process is broken when it comes to politics. But what we don't expect is for a high ranking government official to rub that fact in our faces.
In any event, Pai is right. We'll still be able to do the Harlem Shake and upload food pics after the FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules. Let's just hope our ISPs don't start throttling or charging us extra for the privilege.