A vote last week by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal its net neutrality regulations has drawn approval from U.S. Senator Roger Wicker but strong criticism from north Mississippi’s Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.
The Republican Wicker, who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has praised actions by President Donald Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pait to roll back a 2015 decision by the FCC to classify the internet as a public utility. In a November statement, Wicker said the repeal of the FCC net neutrality rules would “restore the light-touch regulatory framework that has allowed the internet to thrive since its creation.”
Closer to home in Northeast Mississippi, Democratic utility regulator Presley takes a negative view of the FCC action.
“I am completely against the repeal of net neutrality and I think it’s a kick in the teeth to consumers who are depending on broadband,” Presley said. “This does nothing to help rural customers, and it hurts existing customers.”
Net neutrality requires that internet service providers allow users equal access to all data over the internet. Without net neutrality, ISPs like Comcast or AT&T could theoretically block access to certain sites, or could charge more to access certain sites.