Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Carr Calls Net Neutrality Proposal Unlawful

Republican commissioner's comments are a likely preview of the debate to come

Brendan Carr

We don’t have to wonder where FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr stands on whether to restore net neutrality.

“Carr Opposes Plan for Government Control of the Internet” is the headline of his statement in response to Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s announcement Tuesday.

Carr, senior Republican on an FCC that now has a Democratic majority, calls the plan unlawful. He said Americans want more freedom on the internet, not government controls.

“Six years ago, Americans lived through one of the most Orwellian campaigns in regulatory history. They were told that the 2017 decision by my Republican FCC colleagues and me to overturn the Obama administration’s failed, two-year experiment with government control of the internet would mark ‘The end of the internet as we know it’ and that ‘you’ll get the internet one word at a time.’ None of the apocalyptic predictions came to pass. Quite the opposite.”

Carr argued that broadband speeds now are up, inflation-adjusted prices are down, competition has increased and “record-breaking broadband builds brought millions of Americans across the digital divide.”

He said “utility-style” regulation of the internet is about control, not improving the consumer experience.

“But do not take my word for it.  Two of President Obama’s former solicitors general — some of his top lawyers at the DOJ — wrote just last week that Title II regulation of the internet ‘would vastly expand the commission’s authority and would transform the way a federal agency regulates a vitally important element of our economy and the personal and social lives of hundreds of millions of Americans.’ That includes targeting pro-consumer offerings under a boundless ‘general conduct’ rule.”

He believes the proposal “opens the door to broadband rate regulation,” will slow rural broadband expansion and will increase prices. He also calls it “a big gift to Big Tech,” since Title II regulations hamper their competitors and “leave Big Tech companies free to continue operating in a biased and non-neutral manner.”

Carr concluded: “Rather than heading down the doomed and damaging path toward Title II, the FCC should focus on advancing the many important policies over which the commission does have authority  —from rural broadband and spectrum to public safety and illegal robocalls.”