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Home / Business / Trump tweet goes wrong with Net Neutrality Order – TechCrunch

Trump tweet goes wrong with Net Neutrality Order – TechCrunch



President Trump this morning casually addressed a new court ruling on net neutrality, calling it a "big win" that would "lead to many big things, including 5G." Maybe he didn't read the ruling carefully because it is actually a huge blow to the FCC and the "unhinged" logic on which the net neutrality-based rollback is based.

You can find a complete analysis of the decision here, but Trump's tweet should be corrected directly, because it is wrong in several ways.

First and foremost, the FCC did not win this. It was certainly a partial victory in that it was not beaten and many of Mozilla et al's objections were rejected (sometimes almost flippantly). But not only were several issues, such as legal abandonment of the Lifeline program, sent back to the FCC for inclusion, the entire Restoring Internet Freedom rule got its teeth pulled off removing the agency's ability to prevent state laws. [19659002] The FCC relied on modest arguments throughout, but one of the least convincing was that it had the authority to overrule states that had established their own, stronger net neutrality rules, as California does. This attempt to "create an exemption authority out of the air" was completely unjustified by any law or precedent, the court determined, and that the entire section of the new rules was struck down.

That means states can set their own rules and the FCC can't interfere – and if a few states set strong rules, companies would probably choose to just comply with them nationally rather than create a collection of state-specific ones. This is a major setback for the FCC, and basically removes its authority to enforce its own rules. So are they really even rules?

Secondly, this was not "the" major case of net neutrality. This was important to be sure, but it is only the latest, and certainly not the last, in a long series of cases that have kicked this case back and forth for decades. In fact, Circuit Judge Patricia Millett said in her statement that followed the decision, essentially, that they expect it will eventually appear before the Supreme Court.

Third, it is not a "great gain for the future and speed of the Internet. “Very little will change for end users, just as little changed in 2015 when net neutrality was established, or three years later, when it was repealed. The broadband industry has generally not let these swings of the pendulum affect the plans and investments, many of which have been operating for several years. And really, apart from some very specific circumstances such as gas charges, net neutrality (or lack thereof) does not affect the speed of the Internet, either directly or by interfering with broadband providers.

Finally, it will not lead to 5G. 5G is a new global mobile standard that has very little to do with network neutrality and everything to do with spectrum, hardware, fiber reservation and the like. The deployment of 5G has been ongoing for many years and has been almost unaffected by this side of the regulatory landscape.

The net neutrality fight is far from over, but this trial made things extremely difficult for the FCC. Without the threat of being ignored, states are free to create their own net neutrality rules as strong or stronger than 2015. So in a way, the president was right. This is a big win and will lead to many good things – just not as he thought.


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