Sally Aman

Understanding Net Neutrality: 5 Myths Debunked

When it comes to net neutrality there is a lot of misinformation and confusion. Let’s set the record straight.

MYTH: This debate is between those who favor net neutrality and those who oppose it. 

All sides in this debate strongly support an open internet with policies that protect consumers. The argument revolves around the legal authority the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uses to enforce those rules.

MYTH: Consumers will not be protected now that the FCC has repealed Title II.

False. The repeal actually strengthens consumer protections by placing one watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over the entire internet. The top agency in charge of protecting consumers from shady business practices of all kinds, the FTC has a proven, two-decade track record of carrying out this responsibility. And they can do all this without the destructive, investment dampening baggage of Title II.

MYTH: The FCC is trying to kill net neutrality.

Like all parties involved, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is committed to net neutrality. He opposes regulating consumer broadband service like a utility. The December vote ending Title II moves consumers one step closer to fair, modern protections ensuring an open internet for all Americans.

MYTH: Title II utility regulation doesn’t hurt broadband investment.

It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that shoehorning 100 pages of 1930s regulations onto modern consumer broadband services is hardly a stimulus plan. Since Title II was imposed on broadband networks in 2015, investment has declined even as internet traffic has increased. Net neutrality protections should work for consumers, innovation, AND investment in better, stronger networks for us all.

MYTH: Today’s leading internet companies—like Amazon, Google and Netflix—would not exist without Title II regulations. 

Not true. These companies grew to global supremacy in the absence of Title II rules. Title II has nothing to do with consumer benefits and everything to do with business benefits to internet companies, some of the most dominant corporations in the U.S. today. Even-handed, modern protections are needed that apply to ALL companies with the ability to impact consumers’ online experience. Only then will consumers, innovation and up-and-coming online players truly be protected.

USTelecom supports modern and fair open internet protections that ensure all consumers have access to modern, open, high-speed broadband.