via DSL Reports
by Karl Bode
April 28, 2017
Press outlets are having a field day with FCC boss Ajit Pai’s speech this week, where he declared his intention to gut not only net neutrality rules but most government oversight of giant ISPs. From continued false claims that net neutrality kills broadband investment (we’ve noted repeatedly that’s not true and countless industry executives continue to agree) to claims that net neutrality protections somehow hurts consumer privacy (what?), Pai trotted out all manner of falsehoods to justify his elimination of broadly popular net neutrality protections.
But the kicker, as noted by Ars Technica, was Pai’s claim that he was killing oversight of the telecom industry to somehow “restore freedom” to the internet.
Pai’s accompanying press release was entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom for All Americans.” The agency’s NPRM, which outlines Pai’s plan to roll back ISPs under Title I, is similarly and absurdly named “restoring internet freedom.”
According to the FCC’s materials, gutting oversight of giant ISPs like Comcast will “benefit all Americans” by “boost[ing] competition and choice in the broadband marketplace” and “will restore Internet Freedom by ending government micromanagement and returning to the bipartisan regulatory framework that worked well for decades.”
Except no “freedoms” were lost by implementing some fairly-basic rules protecting consumers, entrepreneurs and competitors from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast’s well-documented anti-competitive behavior. The rules didn’t impose any restrictions on consumers, they protected consumers from large ISPs taking advantage of the lack of competition in the last mile. And removing popular consumer protections doesn’t somehow magically create broadband competition.