Chairman Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People

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A popular claim by [telecom industry lobbyists, policy vessels, and loyal lawmakers] is that network neutrality rules are somehow preventing people who are sick or disabled from gaining access to essential medical services they need to survive. Despite the fact that the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules clearly exempt medical services from the ban on uncompetitive paid prioritization, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has consistently tried to claim otherwise. He did so again last week during a speech in which he attempted to defend his agency from the massive backlash to its assault on net neutrality. “By ending the outright ban on paid prioritization, we hope to make it easier for consumers to benefit from services that need prioritization—such as latency-sensitive telemedicine,” Pai said.  “By replacing an outright ban with a robust transparency requirement and FTC-led consumer protection, we will enable these services to come into being and help seniors." 

Pai packs several falsehoods tightly into this statement.One, again, nothing in the current rules bans telemedicine app and service prioritization. Two, Pai’s claims that “robust transparency requirements” and “FTC-led consumer protection” will remain post repeal are largely debunked by the fine print in his own plan, which indicates the agency intends to eliminate both the legal justification and enforcement mechanisms that actually require ISP transparency. Pai also ignores that the FTC’s authority over ISPs is currently in doubt thanks to an ongoing court battle against AT&T.


Chairman Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People