Myth vs Realities

Myth: We need to pass this resolution to restore net neutrality protections.

Reality: This resolution will put back in place utility-type rules from 1934 that are a poor fit for the 21st century internet. Only long-term, forward thinking will protect the open internet.

Myth: Open internet legislation is unlikely to pass.

Reality: The open internet has broad, bipartisan support. Utility-style regulation through H.J.Res. 129 is an unproductive partisan procedure never intended to be used to create long-lasting legislation for something as important as the future of the internet. Congress can permanently protect the open internet and both Republican and Democrats have expressed support for a legislative solution.

Myth: ISPs are internet gatekeepers who can blockade your access to applications and the web.

Reality: Broadband providers have always been committed to delivering the entire internet and have no interest in limiting what their customers can do online. Many observers are starting to realize that the real threat to neutrality comes from the so-called “edge providers” who curate, profile, data mine, and shape what Americans see on the internet.

Myth: ISPs violated net neutrality for years before the FCC rules were put in place.

Reality: During the many years before the FCC adopted its heavy-handed Title II rules in 2015, the internet thrived and grew. Examples of net neutrality violations have been thoroughly debunked.

Myth: Utility regulation protects consumers from monopoly internet providers.

Reality: Between wired, wireless and satellite service, consumers have more options for internet service than ever. Utility-style regulation only hurts consumers by suppressing investment and stifling innovation that would improve services.

Myth: Only big internet providers oppose utility regulation.

Reality: A broad coalition of Americans, including labor unions, more than 40 civil rights organizations, manufacturers, tech companies, and more than two dozen small and rural internet providers have urged the lifting of utility-style regulation of the internet because it hurts investments and jobs.

Myth: Utility regulation has not hurt investment by internet providers.

Reality: Experts predict a massive drop off in investment if utility-style regulation persists. Studies have identified more than $4 billion in lost investment in the first two years of utility-style regulation, while another identified $150-200 billion less investment over the last five years.

Myth: Title II utility regulation is the only way to keep the internet open and free.

Reality: Title II regulates internet providers like public utilities and has nothing to do with net neutrality. Congress has the authority to set rules to permanently protect the open internet and both the FTC and FCC can enforce open internet rules without utility-style regulation.

Myth: The sheer number of comments filed in the Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding is a critical factor that the FCC must weigh as it considers how to address the regulation of the internet.

Reality: The FCC is charged by law to use its own expert judgment to evaluate the record and make a decision based on the governing statute and the merits of the arguments presented – not to conduct a popularity contest. The volume of comments demonstrates significant interest from the public but volume alone has no bearing on the FCC’s review of the arguments presented. But make no mistake, there is a strong record in support of the FCC’s decision.

Myth: Internet providers oppose open internet regulation.

Reality: Providers oppose being regulated like public utilities. All major providers support a free and open internet – having pledged not to block, throttle, or discriminate against internet content – and support new legislation to permanently protect the open internet.