Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Killing Net Neutrality Was Even Worse Than You Think

Karl Bode, writing for OneZero:

The FCC’s Orwellian-named “Restoring Internet Freedom” order certainly did kill rules preventing internet service providers (ISPs) from abusing their broadband monopolies to harm competitors and consumers. And it did so in a flurry of controversy and fraud, all while ignoring the opinions of a bipartisan majority of Americans who wanted to keep net neutrality in place.

But the industry-backed repeal quietly had a much broader objective: It all-but obliterated the FCC’s authority to hold ISPs accountable for any number of other bad behaviors. Instead, it dumped most telecom oversight on a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that experts say lacks the resources or authority to police the sector and punish bad behavior.

“The fight over net neutrality has always been about gutting the FCC’s legal authority to protect consumers and promote competition,” said Gigi Sohn, a former FCC lawyer and advisor who helped craft the agency’s original 2015 net neutrality rules.

If there is any consistent theme to this administration and its agencies, it is that they are being plundered for personal gain while being dismantled from the inside, with obviously devastating consequences that will only fully be realized in the years to come.