Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, has long supported strong, enforceable net neutrality rules to ensure an open internet for consumers, free of interference by their internet service providers (ISPs). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking we are commenting upon today proposes to uproot the legal authority upon which the FCC’s net neutrality rules stand, and perhaps even do away with the rules altogether. First, the NPRM seeks to rollback Title II reclassification (what it dubs “utility-style regulation”) of broadband service claiming it has caused ISP investment in new services and infrastructure to decline. Second, the NPRM then sets out to eliminate one net neutrality rule altogether and ponders whether to keep, modify or get rid of the remaining ones.
While we appreciate the opportunity to review the Commission’s proposals, we do not support the goals of the NPRM to undermine the legal authority or repeal the pro-consumer net neutrality rules that are necessary to ensure an open internet. Treating ISPs as common carriers under Title II finally provides the proper legal foundation on which to base net neutrality rules—rules essential to protecting consumers’ ability to access an open internet without anti-competitive interference from their ISP. These rules are working and serve consumers well.