Ohlhausen: “FTC Can Enforce Net Neutrality Principles”

Posted by Federal Trade Commission

Ohlhausen Says FTC Can Enforce Net Neutrality Principles

By Maureen K. Ohlhausen

I’m very pleased to be here today to talk about how the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom proposal revives and even enhances the FTC’s ability to protect broadband consumers. Back in 2014, I warned that regulating broadband providers as Title II common carriers would create an enormous consumer protection gap, cutting out not just the FTC’s active privacy enforcement but also removing our ability to challenge any deceptive or unfair practice by broadband providers. For consumers’ sake, I am therefore pleased that the proposed order would return to broadband customers the FTC protections they had before 2015.

But what does this mean for net neutrality? The term “net neutrality” today is an expansive, amorphous concept. It is commonly used to mean protecting consumers and Internet companies from a variety of bad actions by broadband providers. In other words, net neutrality advocates are concerned about protecting consumers and promoting competition.

Now, if those two goals sound familiar, it might be because Congress assigned those twin
missions to the FTC.

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