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Texas AG urges FCC to reject broadband industry petition to strip states of consumer protection powers

By David Yates | Jun 19, 2017

General court 06

AUSTIN – In an effort to protect Texas consumers, Attorney General Ken Paxton on June 19 urged the Federal Communications Commission to deny a petition by the broadband industry to strip states of their authority to investigate and settle claims over false and misleading advertising about broadband Internet speed. 

The broadband industry’s petition asks the FCC to block state and local authorities from routine enforcement of state consumer protection laws and declare that the FCC regulate all advertising about broadband performance.

But the petition “represents nothing more than the industry’s effort to shield itself from state law enforcement,” Paxton wrote in a letter to the FCC that was signed by a bipartisan group of 35 state attorneys general.

“As the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, a federal agency may pre-empt state law only when and if it’s acting within the scope of its congressionally delegated authority,” Paxton said.

“Hundreds of millions of Americans rely on broadband Internet services every day, yet they don’t always get what they pay for. The states’ consumer protection powers must be left intact to protect customers from providers who make false claims about broadband speed.”

Paxton was joined in the letter by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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