35 AGS TO FCC: Don't Gut Broadband Consumer Protection
Bipartisan Coalition of Attorneys General – Led by NY and TX - Oppose Industry Petition Intended to Stop States from Enforcing False Advertising Laws on Internet Speeds
AGs Argue that Ruling Sought by Telecoms Industry Would Exceed FCC’s Authority, Upend Longstanding Federal-State Regulation of Deceptive Practices
Lincoln, Nebraska--Attorney General Doug Peterson joined a broad, bipartisan coalition of 35 Attorneys General in jointly opposing a cable and telecommunications industry petition to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) intended, in part, to stop states from enforcing state false advertising laws related to Internet speeds.
In a comment submitted to the FCC late Friday, the Attorneys General - led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton - underscored the long-standing central role of state Attorneys General in protecting broadband consumers. As the comment makes clear, the industry is seeking a ruling that exceeds the authority of the FCC, is procedurally improper, and would upend the longstanding dual federal-state regulation of deceptive practices in the telecommunications industry – which would leave consumers across the country without the basic state protections from unfair and deceptive business practices that help ensure they are receiving the internet speeds for which they’re paying.
“As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we understand the vital importance of protecting consumers against unfair and deceptive business practices—including those of broadband providers. Like others providing goods and services to consumers in our states, providers of broadband Internet service must be truthful in their advertisements. Broadband access is an essential aspect of our constituents’ work, life and play. The states’ traditional consumer protection powers must be left undisturbed to protect consumers from false and misleading claims by broadband providers regarding the provision of services that are an essential part of 21st century life throughout the United States,” the Attorneys General wrote.