FCC Makes Tone Deaf Appeal To Destroy Net Neutrality And Possibly The Internet

The FCC and its chairman, Ajit Pai, are taking some intense heat these days—and for good reason. Pai has put forth a proposal to roll back the hugely popular net neutrality framework and return to the halcyon days of letting internet providers do as they please under some misguided faith that the market will police itself.

Misguided FCC “Logic”

The FCC has embarked on a public relations campaign to try and sway public opinion on the matter, including a propaganda piece sent to the media that claims to lay out the “myths” and “facts” of net neutrality.

The bias of the document is immediately apparent from the adjectives used to describe net neutrality. The first “fact” states, “The Internet was free and open before the Obama Administration’s 2015 heavy-handed Title II Internet regulations, and it will be free and open after they are repealed.”

Another “fact” in the FCC document claims, “Repealing the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed Internet regulations will promote consumers’ online privacy. Those regulations stripped the Federal Trade Commission of authority to protect Americans’ broadband privacy. The plan to restore Internet freedom, by contrast, will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop back on the beat.”

Most of the arguments laid out in the FCC propaganda document rely on the flawed logic that everything was fine for two decades up until 2015, so returning to the rules in place at that time will be fine. That ignores the fact that, even though it was true for years that things worked fine under that framework, ISPs like Comcast and Verizon had begun to rock the boat and start to explore how to extort tolls from content providers, or throttle or block access to specific content, or offer tiered services with internet fastlanes or bundled packages of websites the way cable TV is sold.

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