FCC Vote to Scuttle Net Neutrality Ignores the Public and the Public Interest

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  • David Vance
Statement of Michael Copps former FCC Commissioner & Common Cause Special Advisor

Donald Trump’s Chairman, Ajit Pai, has recklessly ignored the tens of millions of Americans who know that affordable access to the Open Internet is essential to life in the 21st century. Today’s vote is a body blow for self-expression and self-governance. And the tainted process of ignoring tens of thousands of consumer net neutrality complaints makes the FCC action illegitimate.

Simply put, this is the worst decision in the history of the Federal Communications Commission. Never before has the majority been so derelict of duty. Never before has the Commission so flagrantly flouted the will of the public. Never before as this once-august institution so cravenly allowed itself to be captured by corporate paymasters. 

The FCC’s job, by statute, is to advance the public interest. While I have often disagreed with particular decisions, rarely have I so fundamentally doubted the motivations or intentions of the Chair and his two colleagues in subverting the common good.

Regrettably, it is now time to turn to the courts to stop this grave disservice to the American people and the future of the internet in our nation. Congress may be tempted to act but in the short term it must be the courts that step in to stop this gross contravention of duty by three FCC commissioners sworn to serve the public interest.