In an early April letter, a group of twenty-eight Senators- including twenty-seven Democrats and one “Independent,” (Bernie Sanders, who votes with Republicans about as often as my beloved Buffalo Bills win Super Bowls)- continued to challenge the Commission’s lighter touch order for regulating broadband services.
The crux of their letter can be summed up in one bombastic, overblown and cumbersome sentence: “When the FCC acted in 2017 to undo net neutrality, it EVISCERATED the three net neutrality ‘bright line’ rules- no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization- and RELINQUISHED the FCC’s AUTHORITY to prohibit UNJUST, UNREASONABLE and DISCRIMINATORY practices by broadband providers.” (Emphasis added.)
Wow! You would think that the entire Commission took a knee during our National Anthem, while at the same time burning the American flag- except that those on the left are usually in favor of such bad behavior.
Moving in a less inflammatory direction, the letter went on to correctly point out that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had remanded three issues on which the FCC is seeking additional comment: How the order impacted public safety, the Lifeline program, and pole attachments.
Chairman Ajit Pai replied to the Senators in late April with a concise, two-paragraph letter. He clearly stated that the court had, “upheld the overwhelming majority of the…Order, including the Commission’s decision to repeal1930s utility-style regulation of the Internet,” and added that despite dire predictions from the opposition, “consumers are much better off today.” He concluded, “American broadband consumers are (now) enjoying over 70% faster speeds and millions…have gained access to the Internet.”
The FCC Chairman further noted that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission had extended to April 20 and May 20,the comment and reply comment dates for parties to refresh the record on the three remanded items.
Since many politicians seem reluctant to give up governmental power and control- see, as a prime example, an entire country in virtual lockdown by decree from state and federal officials– we will keep you informed of the next, almost inevitable, attack on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.