In the News
The War on Net Neutrality
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Washington, December 4, 2017
Recently, I’ve heard concerns from constituents about net neutrality. Some Oklahomans are fearful that the FCC under the Trump Administration will make their internet less free and open. This is simply untrue.
In 2015, the FCC under President Obama made a sudden change to how the internet is regulated. Although there were previously no problems with how the internet was regulated, the agency cast a cumbersome regulation over the internet anyway. The FCC applied Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to the internet and classified internet service as a ‘common carrier’ – making the internet a utility, to be treated like a phone or power company. This gave the FCC the responsibility to regulate the internet.
Since Title II was applied, investments in broadband networks have declined, plans to update broadband infrastructure have been halted, and Americans’ online privacy was weakened because the FTC no longer had authority over broadband providers’ privacy and security practices.
On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on Chairman Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order which would reclassify internet service providers under Title I. Restoring the classification of broadband internet access as an “information service” will not make your internet less free or less open. It will merely put the regulation of the internet back into the hands of the FTC just as it was prior to 2015.
The Restoring Internet Freedom Order would empower the FTC to regulate and formally disapprove of unfair methods of competition or deceptive practices by internet service providers. The FTC is the nation’s premier consumer protection agency, and until the FCC stripped it of jurisdiction over internet service in 2015, the FTC was responsible for policing digital privacy and consumer protection across the entire online ecosystem.
Still want to learn more? Click here to read Chairman Pai’s Myth vs. Fact sheet that sets the record straight on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, or see a few of the most common myths below.
MYTH: This is the end of the Internet as we know it.
MYTH: Internet service providers will block you from visiting the websites you want to visit.
MYTH: Broadband providers will charge you a premium if you want to reach certain online content.
FACT: Restoring Internet freedom will lead to better, faster, and cheaper broadband for consumers and give startups that need priority access (such as telehealth applications) the chance to offer new services to consumers.
As always, please feel free to write me an email or call one of my offices to get more information and have your questions answered.
Washington, DC Office
2421 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2701 Fax: (202) 225-3038 Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm ET
McAlester District Office
1 E. Choctaw, Suite 175 McAlester, OK 74501 Phone: (918) 423-5951 Fax: (918) 423-1940 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CT
Claremore District Office
223 W. Patti Page Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017 Phone: (918) 283-6262 Fax: (918) 923-6451 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CT