Myth vs. Fact: Chairman Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom Order

Setting the Record Straight on Chairman Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order:

MYTH: This is the end of the Internet as we know it. FACT: 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the Obama Administration’s 2015 heavy-handed Title II Internet regulations, and it will be free and open after they are repealed.

MYTH: Internet service providers will block you from visiting the websites you want to visit. FACT: Internet service providers didn’t block websites before the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed 2015 Internet regulations and won’t after they are repealed. Any Internet service provider would be required to publicly disclose this practice and would face fierce consumer backlash as well as scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which will have renewed authority to police unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices.

MYTH: The Federal Trade Commission is not well equipped and has far fewer powers to protect consumers from misconduct by Internet service providers. FACT: The Federal Trade Commission has broad authority to police unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices online and has brought over 500 enforcement actions to protect consumers online, including actions against Internet service providers and some of the biggest companies in the online ecosystem. And unlike the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission can order consumer redress (such as refunds) for violations of federal law.

MYTH: Investment has flourished under the current regulatory framework. FACT: Following the adoption of the Obama Administration’s 2015 heavy-handed Internet regulations, broadband investment has fallen for two years in a row—the first time that’s happened outside of a recession in the Internet era.

MYTH: Reversing Title II regulations will compromise consumers’ online privacy. FACT: 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.

MYTH: Repealing Title II regulations will make it harder for disadvantaged Americans to get online. FACT: Restoring Internet freedom will lead to greater investment in building and expanding broadband networks in rural and low-income areas as well as additional competition—leading to better, faster, cheaper Internet access for all Americans, including those on the wrong side of the digital divide.

MYTH: More than 22 million people have filed comments with the agency. They overwhelmingly want the FCC to preserve and protect net neutrality. FACT: The commenting process is not an opinion poll—and for good reason. For example, one third of all comments consist of a single, pro-Title II sentence: “I am in favor of strong net neutrality under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.” These 7,568,949 identical comments, however, are associated with only 50,508 unique names and street addresses. Indeed, 7,562,080 of these comments come from 45,001 “individuals” using email addresses from and submitting the same comment more than 90 times each. In another example, over 400,000 comments supporting Title II purport to come from “individuals” residing at the same address in Russia. In any case, as required by federal law, the Chairman’s plan is based on the facts and the law rather than the quantity of comments. 

Myth vs. Fact: Chairman Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom Order