Net neutrality regulations under threat by Trump's new FCC appointments





Protesters march past the FCC headquarters before a Commission meeting on a net neutrality proposal on May 15 in Washington, DC.
© Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images 
 
 Protesters march past the FCC headquarters before a Commission meeting on a net neutrality proposal on May 15 in Washington, DC. Legislation that assures equal access to high-performance internet – one of the signature achievements of Obama’s administration – could be reversed under President-elect Trump after he appointed two opponents of “net neutrality” to the US communications regulator team.
Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison have been vocal in their opposition to the policy of net neutrality, which prevents large internet companies from creating fast lanes for high-paying customers. They are both associated with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative thinktank based in Washington DC which has previously campaigned against net neutrality.
While Trump himself hasn’t said a lot about net neutrality, Eisenach testified before the judiciary committee of the US Senate in 2014, saying the policy used government regulation to unnecessarily advantage small companies and had little to do with protecting consumers.
Related: Federal court upholds net neutrality in win for Obama administration
“Net neutrality regulation cannot be justified on grounds of enhancing consumer welfare or protecting the public interest,” he said. “The potential costs of net neutrality regulation are both sweeping and severe, and extend far beyond a simple transfer of wealth from one group to another. Legitimate policy concerns about the potential use of market power to disadvantage rivals or harm consumers can best be addressed through existing antitrust and consumer protection laws and regulations.”
Mark Jamison took the argument one step further. In an October 2016 opinion piece for Tech Policy Daily, he asked provocatively whether or not the FCC is needed any more.
 
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