Consumer Confidential: Trump doesn't want you knowing the benefits of regulations far outweigh the costs

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Speaking of regulations, here's the latest on net neutrality -- and AT&T's acrobatic efforts to simultaneously support and oppose the Trump administration's doing away with oversight of high-speed internet service.

A federal appeals court ruled this week that the Federal Trade Commission could continue pursuing a lawsuit against AT&T over internet speeds.

This is a big deal because, if AT&T had its way, no one in Washington would be telling it what to do.

The unanimous decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco came as the Federal Communications Commission proceeds with plans to chuck net neutrality out the window.

Those are the rules put in place under the Obama administration that prohibit internet service companies such as AT&T from interfering with the content flowing over their networks or charging extra for more reliable access.

Unless Congress or the courts act, net neutrality will officially end April 23.


One of the key arguments made by the FCC for abandoning net neutrality is that the Federal Trade Commission can do a good enough job protecting consumers from unsavory telecom industry practices.

The FTC sued AT&T in 2014, charging the company with deliberately slowing the internet speeds of millions of customers who paid for unlimited data plans -- a practice known as "throttling."

AT&T countered that the FTC had no business telling it what to do because only the Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over internet service providers.

Yes, that would be the same FCC that's trying to get out of the internet regulation business, which AT&T and other telecom companies support.


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