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FCC Scuttling of Net Neutrality Is Another Handout to Big Business at Expense of Consumers

Statement of Michael Copps Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Advisor

WASHINGTON - The reckless wrecking ball strikes again.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s scorched-earth plan for net neutrality displays callous disregard for both process and substance. The Chairman’s plan to do away with net neutrality will be a disaster for consumers and yet another handout for big business.

There can be no truly open internet without net neutrality. To believe otherwise is to be captive to special interest power brokers or to an old and discredited ideology that thinks monopoly and not government oversight best serves the nation. In this case, I think it’s both. The FCC under Pai is handing over the internet to a few humongous gatekeepers who see the rest of us as products to be delivered to advertisers, not as citizens needing communications that serve democracy’s needs. By empowering ISPs to create fast lanes for the few and squelch alternative points of view, the Trump FCC fecklessly casts aside years of popular consensus that the public needs net neutrality. The tens of thousands of Americans I have talked with, both Republicans and Democrats, fully understand this need.

What a sad day for an agency that should be serving the people. Ajit Pai and his majority are turning their backs on the millions of Americans who fought for years to win strong net neutrality. This naked corporatism is Washington at its worst.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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