The FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal Is Already Improving the Internet — an FCC Study Finds

FCC chairman Ajit Pai, architect of the net neutrality rollback
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FCC chairman Ajit Pai, architect of the net neutrality rollback
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FCC chairman Ajit Pai

The net neutrality rollback is already stimulating better broadband deployment across America, a new FCC report states.

Despite nearly two dozen lawsuits from U.S. state attorneys general, four oppositional Executive Orders from state governors, and one pro-net neutrality bill awaiting signature in California, the FCC says its net neutrality rollback is already having a positive impact on broadband deployment in America.

The FCC, led by chairman Ajit Pai, officially repealed net neutrality in December of 2017.

In the FCC-issued ‘2018 Broadband Deployment Report,’ the net neutrality rollback is credited for lifting serious restrictions on ISPs.  Those restrictions were harming millions of Americans, according to the report.

Strangely, the report seems largely dedicated to praising the FCC — or ‘the agency’ — and that praise is mostly delivered in the third person.

In the assessment, issued last week, the FCC offered high praise to its controversial decision to eliminate net neutrality, and cited quick results.

“Steps taken last year have restored progress by removing barriers to infrastructure investment, promoting competition, and restoring the longstanding bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework for broadband that had been reversed by the Title II Order,” the agency noted in a press release sent to the members of the media.

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The ‘Title II Order’ refers to the 2015 net neutrality decree that prohibited ISPs from enacting ‘fast lanes’ or otherwise throttling internet traffic.  That Order was demonized throughout the report, and characterized as a yoke resulting in sub-standing internet for huge portions of the population.

“The progress of broadband deployment slowed dramatically in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Title II Order that regulated broadband Internet access service as a utility, according to the agency’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report,” the FCC report stated, while continuing to refer to itself in the third person.

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5 US states (dark green as well as Hawaii) have passed measures protecting net neutrality. Attorneys general from 22 states (light gray) have filed lawsuits against the FCC (Hawaii, Washington DC and California are also on this list, Alaska is not). 117 municipalities in Colorado (darker blue) have voted to allow taxpayer-funded ISPs.

The glowing report declined to mention massive pushback against the FCC’s rollback.

That includes a bill flat-out banning paid prioritization and throttling in California.  It also leaves out a growing number of Executive Orders requiring ISPs to adhere to neutrality provisions.  Just recently, five states accounting for more than 20% of the country’s population enacted measures protecting net neutrality.

AT&T’s CEO Says Killing Net Neutrality Was a Really Stupid Idea

Just this morning, Hawaii joined the growing list of US states issuing Executive Orders requiring ISPs to follow net neutrality provisions.  Other states are likely to follow suit.

Here’s the FCC’s press release about its report.



One Response

  1. Pebah

    Thanks for the link to the report.

    In reference to the third person wording, would you expect an unsigned report to refer to “we” or “us”?

    Also, the report says that is is published in compliance to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that “requires that the FCC determine annually whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans ‘in a reasonable and timely fashion’ ” so it seems reasonable that it should make contrasts between the Obama-era Title II Order and the period of time before (and after–which is NOT documented).

    And since this is a report of past performance, should it also mention legislation that attempts to sabotage the FCC’s authority in the future? I agree that that should be addressed by the FCC, maybe in another report, but I wouldn’t expect that anytime soon–there would be a lot of data, rules, laws, congressional actions, etc. to analyze.