Net Neutrality
The White House supported the FCC's plan to roll back net neutrality protections. Bykst/Pixabay

The White House offered its support Tuesday to the proposal of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to do away with Obama-era net neutrality protections.

“We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty,” deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday.

Read: Is Net Neutrality Dead? What The Internet Will Look Like Without Open Internet Rules, Title II

The comments from Huckabee Sanders come one day after the public comment period on the order to roll back net neutrality rules ended. The “Restoring Internet Order” plan, proposed by Donald Trump appointee Ajit Pai, received nearly 10 million comments in total including 4.7 million in the last 30 days.

Internet companies and organizations rallied last week to generate support for the current net neutrality rules, which prevent internet service providers from blocking content, slowing or throttling connections, or providing paid prioritization that benefits companies willing to pay for preferential treatment.

Current net neutrality rules came to be after the FCC under Chairman Tom Wheeler voted to reclassify the internet as a public utility and ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. The rule made it possible for the FCC to regulate telecommunications companies in order to enforce net neutrality.

Chairman Pai’s plan would undo the Title II classification, making service providers information companies again. The proposal would also reconsider the fundamental rules of net neutrality and may allow ISPs to partake in blocking content, throttling connections, or implementing paid prioritization plans.

Read: What Is Net Neutrality? How FCC's Title II and Open Internet Rules Came To Be

“The previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on [internet service providers] through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power,” said Huckabee Sanders.

Evan Greer, the campaign director for open internet advocacy group Fight for the Future, viewed the White House’s comments as a sign that public pressure has had an impact on the debate over the future of net neutrality.

“The White House’s comments today are far from full throated support for the FCC’s plan,” Greer said “And underscore the reality that voters from across the political spectrum, including more than 75 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump, support strong net neutrality protections that keep the web free of extra fees, throttling, and censorship.”

Greer said Chairman Pai is “increasingly isolated” in his position on net neutrality and “has clearly misjudged the Republican base” in proposing a roll back of net neutrality rules. “No one wants companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to have the power to decide what we can see and what we can say on the Internet,” Greer said.

A recent poll conducted Freedman Consulting found Americans overwhelmingly support current net neutrality protections. The poll found 77 percent of Americans—including 73 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats, and 76 percent of independents—want to keep net neutrality protections. More than eight in 10—81 percent— of people said ISPs should not be able to block websites, throttle or slow connections, or offer paid prioritization.