Feds Acknowledge Power to Regulate Internet Rates Under Net Neutrality

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Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire URN:19967439/AP

Democrat members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are now admitting that new net neutrality regulations may allow them to determine pricing for Internet service, an admission that’s seen as “a vindication to critics of the new Internet rules, who have long warned that the agency’s powers will give it unprecedented control over the Web,” according to a report from The Hill.

While the rules don’t implicitly give them that power, consumers can go to the FCC seeking any action they believe is “just and reasonable.” Consequently, Democrats believe that a complaint over alleged high rates, for instance, would open the door for them to get involved in pricing. In essence, Democrats are now openly confirming the worst fears of many net neutrality critics.

“We have an obligation, I believe, to look at any complaint, anything filed before us, and make that decision accordingly,” said Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

“We don’t have such a case before us right now,” added Jessica Rosenworcel, a fellow Democratic commissioner. “But I think it’s a matter of due process that any provider… has the opportunity to come to the commission and seek resolution.”

The statements are certain to provide new ammunition to critics of the approach.