Consumers Union on FCC plan for new net neutrality rules

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Consumers Union on FCC plan for new net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON –  Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today made the following statement about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s plan for net neutrality rules.

The FCC is planning a new set of rules that would let Internet service providers give some traffic special treatment, as long as these deals were made available on “commercially reasonable” terms for all content providers.  The FCC would decide on a case-by-case basis whether these deals were anti-competitive.  The FCC said the rules would prevent providers from blocking or discriminating against a specific website or service.

Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “This plan doesn’t bode well for consumers. The FCC appears to have abandoned the principle that all web sites and services should be treated equally on the Internet.  This move is likely to favor the companies with the deepest pockets and hurt the scrappy start-ups.  It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices.  It’s more than disappointing that the FCC is not embracing the best option for achieving net neutrality, which is reclassifying Internet service as a telecommunications service.  Some details of this plan are still coming to the surface. We are going to review the proposal and push hard for final rules that ensure an open Internet.”

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Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, or Kara Kelber, kkelber@consumer.org202-462-6262