Kansas Attorney General

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 15:39

AG Derek Schmidt asks FCC to maintain state consumer protection authority on broadband advertising

TOPEKA - (June 19, 2017) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject a proposal which would stop states from enforcing consumer protection laws related to the advertising of internet speeds.

In a comment submitted to the FCC late Friday, Schmidt, along with a bipartisan group of attorneys general of 33 other states and the District of Columbia, underscored the long-standing central role of state attorneys general in protecting broadband consumers.

'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,' the attorneys general wrote. '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 FCC is considering a petition that asks the agency to convert a limited safe harbor from FCC's own enforcement, into blanket federal and state immunity for fixed and wireless broadband companies from liability for false statements contained in advertisements and marketing. The attorney general's filing opposes that petition.

A copy of the attorneys general's comment letter is available at http://bit.ly/2tl00yt.