The Federal Communications Commission has voted for the deregulation of the broadband industry and some of the major Internet providers want to make sure that states won’t set up their own, new regulations.
Both, Comcast and Verizon have asked the telecommunication regulators to clear that the new policy of NCC regarding Net neutrality would confiscate the local and state regulations that might read differently. The appeal leads to the latest step of the industry to weaken federal rules that control broadband companies such as lineage telephone companies.
In a latest regulatory filing, Comcast stated that the FCC should, ‘‘include a clear, affirmative ruling that expressly confirms the primacy of federal law with respect to [broadband] as an interstate information service.’’
However, FCC’s didn’t immediately comment on the request.
The rules of FCC that inhibit Internet providers from slowing down, blocking, or giving special treatment to few websites at other’s expenses are at stake.
The rules were approved in 2015 and were widely supported by advocacy groups that stated that the rules are essential for consumer protection. But they were brutally opposed by Internet providers who claimed that the regulations were illegal and extremely oppressive.
The dispute revolves around the decision of FCC to classify Internet providers as ‘‘common carriers,’’ under the law, a similar designation applied to telephone service providers. Now, under the Republican leadership, FCC wishes to retract on policy change and seeks to regroup broadband companies under a more easily regulated designation, i.e. “information services.”
According to Verizon, even if the FCC thrive in deregulation of rules, the broadband industry still fears that states could ‘‘countermand’’ the federal agency’s decision.
The company stated that, ‘‘Allowing every State and locality to chart its own course for regulating broadband is a recipe for disaster. It would impose localized and likely inconsistent burdens on an inherently interstate service.’’
John Bergmayer, senior counsel, Public Knowledge consumer group, said FCC rules are generally prioritized over local and state rules.
He said that, ‘‘If the FCC says X and a state says Not-X, then the FCC wins.’’ Moreover, he added to his statement, ‘‘As even Comcast admits, the FCC has no power to preempt state consumer protection laws. There are questions about what counts as ‘consumer protection’ that would have to be answered.’’