FCC releases final version of order scrapping net neutrality rules

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AT&T, other telecom companies and industry trade groups sued to block the rules, arguing the FCC exceeded its authority in approving the regulations.

"White House Endorses FCC Chair Ajit Pai's Quest To Murder Net Neutrality", reads another.

It's easy to assume that Pai is avoiding potential contentious exchanges with members of the tech media who will be on hand for the event. "We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience".

Pai has not yet publicly given a reason for his decision, but some press reports attribute his decision to security considerations. However, CTA head Gary Shapiro earlier told Digital Trends that he did not know why Pai had canceled, but raised the fact that he had recently been "subject to vicious and direct attacks and threats".

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However, two unnamed agency sources told Recode that Pai canceled his appearance after receiving death threats. This move has made him unpopular with most of the country except for executives at internet service providers, to whom he's got close personal ties. Where before many state laws banning municipal involvement in broadband - heavily promoted and lobbied for by the big ISPs - had helped to keep the muni broadband menace at bay, net neutrality repeal has thrown a huge spotlight on the issue. During the meeting in which the commission voted to repeal the net neutrality rules, shortly before the vote took place, the agency received a bomb threat.

This will be the first time Pai has not attended the conference in five years. "Pai's security detail is now "untenable" with "multiple, unsubstantiated death threats" linked specifically to the Vegas itinerary", the site reported.

Clyburn also noted how there were no comments cited in the order from consumers, although millions had signed petitions and protested against the repeal of net neutrality rules: "The public can plainly see that a soon-to-be-toothless FCC is handing the keys to the internet over to a handful of multi-billion dollar corporations".