Pending FCC Action on Net Neutrality Raises Unfounded Fears, Warnings - Page 2

Note that while the FTC had a track record of success, the FCC took no such actions after 2015.

Still the assertions continue, and still they appear to be devoid of a factual basis. There’s one set of advocates that predict that the courts will force the FCC to keep the reclassification of the internet under Title II. But they fail to mention that the move to Title II was the FCC's effort to perform an end-run around the courts that had repeatedly told the commission that it couldn’t enforce net neutrality.

There’s another set of advocates that are claiming that the FCC does not have the authority to undo the reclassification that happened in 2015 and thus they will be stopped by the courts. But a thorough reading of the 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, US Telecom v. FCC, makes it clear that the FCC has the authority to change the classification if the commission decides to.

If it had the legal authority to make this decision under Title II, then by the courts reasoning it also has the authority to remove it from Title II.

That decision has been appealed, but at this point the U.S. Supreme Court hasn't scheduled argument on the case. Apparently the Court is waiting to see what happens with the current classification moves.

What's also become obvious amid all hysteria (which is what it is) related to net neutrality is that the so-called activists apparently aren’t active enough to actually read the proposed order, which was published along with the tentative agenda for the December open meeting.

I suspect that in some cases, this is willful ignorance, if only because reverting to boring, old facts is unlikely to drum up the kind of donation activity that is the lifeblood for some of the activists who are fighting the FCC action.

While some organizations have valid reasons for opposing the proposed FCC action, there are also many that are using the FCC as a means of fighting the current administration in the White House. It’s unfortunate that they are taking aim at an agency that’s currently operating within its charter.

The fact is that if these folks really want to ensure net neutrality, it’s not the FCC that can do it. Such an outcome can only happen with legislation, such as the bipartisan bill that was working its way through Congress in 2015. If you want to fight for net neutrality, it’s Congress that can fix the problem, not the FCC. It's time to hold Congress accountable for enforcing network neutrality if that's the goal of the activist groups.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...