In his Dec. 1 Washington Forum essay, "No, the FCC is not killing the Internet," Federal Communications Commission commissioner Brendan Carr argued that alarm over net neutrality repeal is overblown because the FCC's "Restoring Internet Freedom" order, scheduled for a vote on Thursday, simply returns the Internet to the way the FCC used to treat it.
This is flatly untrue.
The order does invoke the previous Title I law, but it brings no net neutrality rules with it. None. It bucks 22 years of consensus under Republican and Democratic FCC chairmen that Americans have a right to access all legal content and the FCC has a duty to enforce that right. At every stage, including the "four freedoms," the 2005 Internet policy statement, and the 2010 and 2015 open Internet orders, the FCC reaffirmed its role as steward of open Internet principles.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai now is taking the unprecedented step of abandoning that decades-long duty by eliminating the cop on the beat. Internet service providers will now have the unfettered ability to control the Internet. Mr. Pai will kick authority over to the Federal Trade Commission, which is not an expert rulemaking agency and can act only after harms occur.
The Restoring Internet Freedom order restores nothing and is a willful abdication of the FCC’s historic duty to protect consumers and the public interest.
This march to folly should be abandoned.
Anna G. Eshoo, Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents
California’s 18th District in the House.