FTC Promoting Net Neutrality Tech-Savvy Regulatory Muscle

Attention all those concerned about the Federal Trade Commission's enforcement of network neutrality in the absence of FCC rules: The FTC will be participating in a webinar March 27 to address those concerns.

There is no fee for the 2 p.m. discussion with acting chief technologist Neil Chilson, hosted by Diane Holland, USTelecom VP, law and policy. (USTelecom backed the FCC's network neutrality rules rollback that prompted the concerns and the webinar.)

Among the topics up for discussion and elucidation, according to USTelecom, are: "The FTC’s deep expertise in evaluating harm to consumers and to competition in every industry; the agency’s significant internal technological proficiency to evaluate harms in tech-heavy industries, including broadband; [and] how the FTC supplements its own resources with outside experts, including coordinating with other government agencies."

Related: Ninth Circuit Confirms FTC Common Carrier Carve-Out Is Activity Based

One of those other government agencies will be the FCC, which will enforce the enanced disclosures of ISP conduct the FTC can police with its Sec. 5 authority over unfair and deceptive and anticompetitive practices. Another is the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, which shares oversight of competition in the business sector.

Related: FTC Makes Case for Data Privacy, Security Muscle

The FCC's 2015 reclassification of ISPs as common carriers removed them from FTC oversight per a longstanding antitrust exemption that prevents the FTC from regulating common carriers, though the FTC has been trying to get that exemption repealed.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.