FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Defends Rules That Will Destroy Internet As We Know It

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler just “doesn’t get it.”

That’s what defenders of the “Open Internet” are saying in response to new comments made by Wheeler on Wednesday in which he once again tried to defend new broadband rules that would imperil the fair and equal treatment of both content and customers by allowing internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to create for-profit “fast lanes” on their broadband networks.

Speaking at the annual conference of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Wheeler tried to deflect criticism of his approach by saying his opponents are “misinterpreting” what he’s put forth. According to Wheeler, his newly proposed rules won’t permit the corporate owners of broadband network to push some content into a “slow lane” while allowing others priority access and said: “If someone acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ we will use every power at our disposal to stop it.”

“The future of the open Internet can’t rest on the supposed good intentions of one chairman. Internet users and innovators need the certainty that comes with common carriage, not Wheeler’s ‘just trust me’ approach to stopping harmful behavior from providers.” —Craig Aaron, Free Press

But Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media reform group Free Press, argues that Wheeler’s comments in Los Angeles—which were also mirrored on the official FCC blog—only prove how dangerously out of touch the chairman has become with the implications of what he’s proposing.

In a scathing rebuttal to Wheeler’s comments, Aaron released the following statement:

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In order to fight the new rules, Free Press and other groups have urged concerned citizens to “drop everything and take action” to save the internet. As part of this effort, groups are planning a day of action outside FCC headquarters on May 15th.

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