FCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules

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The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission released a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) describing how the agencies will work together to make sure ISPs keep their network neutrality promises. 

In short, ISPs will be free to do whatever they want—unless they make specific promises to avoid engaging in specific types of anti-competitive or anti-consumer behavior. When companies make promises and break them, the FTC can punish them for deceiving consumers. That's what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Acting FTC Chair Maureen Ohlhausen are counting on. “Instead of saddling the Internet with heavy-handed regulations, we will work together to take targeted action against bad actors," Pai said.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is not impressed. She said, "The agreement announced today between the FCC and FTC is a confusing, lackluster, reactionary afterthought: an attempt to paper over weaknesses in the Chairman's draft proposal repealing the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules. Two years ago, the FCC signed a much broader pro-consumer agreement with the FTC that already covers this issue. There is no reason to do this again other than as a smoke-and-mirrors PR stunt, distracting from the FCC's planned destruction of net neutrality protections later this week." Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel agreed. "FTC enforcement is no substitute for strict rules against blocking, throttling, and discrimination," she said. "Plus, FTC enforcement would happen long after the fact—many months, if not years, after consumers and businesses have been harmed," she said. "This is why the FCC must not relinquish its authority and, more importantly, its responsibility, to the public interest.”


FCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules