The Net Neutrality regulation developed by the FCC designed to prevent anti-competitive behavior online are about to become official
. They will be printed in the Federal Register, and then the floodgates will open for comment. Comment which is likely to come primarily from the big telecoms who don't want to actually have to compete.
Cue the usual suspects.
Republican officials are showing up on Fox News to get the anti-net neutrality message out. Last Thursday, Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell appeared on FoxNews.com's Power Play to discuss net neutrality, and got a big assist from host Chris Stirewalt in spreading misinformation about net neutrality rules.
Early on in the kid-gloved interview, Stirewalt described net neutrality as "the shorthand term for having federal regulations of the internet, FCC regulations of the internet." This is imprecise and, as we'll see in a minute, part of a broader falsehood. Net neutrality rules are not "federal regulations of the internet." They are regulations on internet service providers that prevent them from controlling user access to lawful content and discriminating against content providers.
Moments later, however, Stirewalt described those "regulations" as "the power of the FCC to determine how much bandwidth, how much space on the internet people are allowed to use at any given time" and "scaling your access to space on the internet." This is just plain false. As noted above, the rules prevent government and ISPs from doing exactly that: limiting user access to specific content providers. Stirewalt got it so wrong that McDowell—an anti-net neutrality Republican official—had to sort-of correct him: "Well, kind of."
It's Fox. Of course they'll lie. Though as MM points out, you'd expect a little bit better from the "digital politics editor," at least in terms of basic understanding. That's apparently where the "politics" part of his title comes in: distorting policy to confirm to the Fox corporate orthodoxy. That orthodoxy holds that consumer protection of any kind is bad, apparently. So they've turned this fight to keep the Internet open for the users into a big government plot to control content on the Internet. As usual, Fox is the go-to megaphone for GOP and corporate misinformation.