FTC staff backs net neutrality rollback

FTC staff backs net neutrality rollback
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The staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an official comment to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in favor of Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to scrap net neutrality regulations.

In their filing, staff at the agency said that they favor Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” plan, which would give regulatory authority over broadband providers back to the FTC. Under the Open Internet Order approved in 2015, the FCC currently has the jurisdiction to regulate broadband providers instead of the FTC.

The FTC is currently split with one Democrat, Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, and one Republican, acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen.

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In their joint comment, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics argued that, prior to the Open Internet Order, when the FTC still regulated broadband providers it “consistently protected broadband consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, including in the privacy and data security area.”

Opponents of Pai’s call to scrap net neutrality provisions and return regulation to the FTC argue that the agency doesn’t have the regulatory teeth to properly handle broadband, which they see as more critical than other companies.

Democratic lawmakers such Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOPINION | Shailene Woodley: US should run on renewable energy by 2050 Dems urge 'transparent and inclusive' nuke policy review Senate confirms former Boeing VP as deputy Defense secretary MORE (Mass.) have argued that broadband is a public utility and thus its service providers warrant closer scrutiny than companies in other industries.