President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the Federal Communications Commission to immediately end net neutrality regulations, arguing the current regulations were hurting consumers and businesses.
The president told The American Caller that a move by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal net neutrality protections would hurt American consumers and hurt the economy by hurting consumers.
Pai, a Republican who has previously called net neutrality a “total disaster,” announced plans to repeal the rules in January, citing concerns that they would hurt the ability of Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to deliver fast and reliable Internet access.
Pai said the repeal would create a “class of broadband providers that would own the internet, not the public.”
Trump has repeatedly said he does not want the FCC to repeal its rules, which were designed to protect consumers from high prices for broadband.
Pai’s proposal has not been finalized, but Trump has called the current rules a “regulatory disaster.”
In his letter to Pai, Trump said that while he would be open to a repeal, he believes the current regulation does not “protect consumers from unfair and unreasonable Internet pricing.”
Pai is not the first FCC commissioner to push for repeal.
The FCC previously repealed rules to regulate the internet in 2016, after Pai proposed changing the rules from Title II to Title I. Pai has said that he would not reverse the change, as some Republicans want to do.
The FCC also recently voted to reverse the agency’s 2015 net neutrality order, which had prohibited ISPs from blocking or throttling websites or apps.
Pai also reversed the agency from regulating the internet’s traffic management, after the agency had already ruled that the rules violated net neutrality.