Press Release Net Neutrality

Public Knowledge Petitions FCC to Begin Reconsidering Trump-Era Broadband Deregulation

February 8, 2021 , ,

Today, Public Knowledge filed a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider the agency’s determination under Chairman Pai that its deregulatory agenda was more important than public safety, the infrastructure access necessary for broadband competition, or universal service. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, while upholding much of the Pai FCC’s order, reversed the agency’s attempt to preempt state regulation of broadband and ordered the FCC to reconsider its approach to several important policy issues. Public Knowledge’s petition focuses on procedural and legal defects in how the FCC considered these issues.

The net neutrality rules created by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order prevented broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling web traffic, or creating “fast lanes” only for those able to pay for prioritization. Millions of Americans expressed support for these rules by submitting comments with the FCC, and more than 80 percent of Americans consistently say they support restoring the protections the FCC adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order. Chairman Pai’s FCC repealed these rules in 2017, effectively stripping Americans of these consumer protections that are so fundamental in an increasingly online world.

Public Knowledge, a litigant in Mozilla v. FCC, has consistently fought for strong net neutrality rules and will continue urging the public to speak out about the importance of a free and open internet.

The following can be attributed to Kathleen Burke, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Our petition asks the FCC to reconsider the previous FCC’s approach to the D.C. Circuit’s Remand Order. In its rush to get its deregulatory orders out the door, the Commission cut many procedural corners. This alone provides grounds for the FCC to reopen and reverse its previous determinations. While certain major policy decisions will have to wait for a fully-staffed FCC, bureau staff can put our and other petitions out for public comment, so that advocates can begin establishing a record that shows how the FCC’s experiment in discarding its own authority to regulate broadband providers was a mistake that jeopardized consumers.”

You may view the petition for reconsideration for more information.