A group of 10 members of Congress, who sit on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have taken aim at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its plans to undo net neutrality rules.
The Democrat representatives, who helped create the law that governs the FCC, point out that the FCC’s proposals ignore “the Commission’s core mandate to fully consider the public interest before taking action” in a comment on the proposals.
“When adopting a broad public interest standard for the Commission, we gave the FCC a serious responsibility to consider the effects of its policies on the entire public, not just a favoured few,” the comment reads. “On this score, the FCC’s proposal falls flat. The proposal simply ignores the most critical issues affecting our country today – priorities such as free speech and democracy, small businesses, jobs and economic development, and privacy. Instead, the Commission narrowly focused on a single ill-conceived measure of broadband investment to the exclusion of all others.”
The scathing attack on the Commission goes on to accuse it of overlooking the effects the proposals could have on small businesses and jobs, overlooking the affect it would have on Americans’ privacy protections, and focusing solely on the raw dollars spent on network deployment and not considering national priorities.
The Congress members also suggest that the FCC’s broadband deployment data is flawed, according to ‘bipartisan consensus’, and, most worryingly, accuses the FCC of taking instruction directly from the White House – thus jeopardising the Commission’s independence.