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Study Shows Corporate News Networks Largely Ignoring FCC Plan to Kill Net Neutrality

NBC, ABC and CBS have devoted just over two minutes to net neutrality.

A supporter of net neutrality protests outside a Federal Building in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 2017. (Photo: Ronen Tivony / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

With just over two weeks left until the FCC is set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to decimate net neutrality, a new study published on Tuesday by Media Matters for America found that corporate cable and broadcast news coverage of Pai’s proposed net neutrality repeal has been sorely lacking — and, in some cases, nonexistent.

Based on an examination of television segments aired on major news networks since November 20 — the day Politico reported that Pai was planning a “total repeal of net neutrality rules” — the study found that NBC, ABC, and CBS have devoted just over two minutes combined to net neutrality.

Of all the major corporate networks Media Matters examined, MSNBC devoted far and away the most coverage to the FCC’s “scorched-earth” attack on the open internet.

“In the wake of the breaking news, MSNBC represented 90 percent of all cable coverage” of net neutrality, the study found.

Media Matters goes on to observe that both NBC — which “has not covered net neutrality at all” — and MSNBC are both “owned by internet service provider Comcast, which stands to benefit from the repeal.”

Since Pai unveiled his long-awaited plan to scrap net neutrality rules last week, a large and disparate coalition has come out in opposition to the Republican-controlled FCC’s proposals.

Civil rights organizations, consumer advocates, environmentalists, a group representing over 500 businesses (pdf), massive tech companies, and even some right-wing publications have denounced Pai’s effort to eliminate “the internet as we know it.

Pai’s plan “ignores the will of people from across the political spectrum who overwhelmingly support these protections,” Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, concluded in a statement. “It ignores the law and the courts, which have repeatedly upheld the 2015 Title II rules. And it ignores the vibrancy of the internet marketplace following adoption of that 2015 order, with incontrovertible economic data showing that both investment in networks and online innovation are flourishing under the very same rules Pai wants to destroy.”

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