The FCC Is Leading Us Toward Catastrophe

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[Commentary] Here’s what we know about Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s latest plans: He’s planning to erase the utility designation the Obama FCC re-applied to high-speed internet access carriers in February 2015 (following an unprecedented 10-year period of deregulation). In parallel, in an empty bid to pay lip service to the idea of an open internet, he wants to shift authority to the Federal Trade Commission...This move is not really about net neutrality: It’s about whether or not internet access is a utility rather than a luxury. If it’s a utility, it needs to be subject to rules, laid out in advance, about availability and quality. If it’s not, we’re saying we trust competition in the private market to protect consumers and ensure that everyone in the country gets world-class, open, nondiscriminatory internet access.

Chairman Pai is saying he trusts competition in the private marketplace. That’s nonsensical.

[Susan Crawford is the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School]


The FCC Is Leading Us Toward Catastrophe