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GOP lawmakers demand FCC make proposed Internet regs public

January 23, 2015

Julian Hattem

The Hill

Leaders in Congress want the public to see new net neutrality regulations before they become law.

Currently, people aren’t expected to see the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new regulations for Internet service providers such as Comcast until the agency’s five commissioners vote on them on Feb. 26.

That’s concerning for Republicans leaders of the House and Senate Commerce committees, especially since the regulations are expected to exert bold authority over the Web by reclassifying Internet service to treat it like a utility. Read More…

FCC urged to pause on Internet rules

January 22, 2015

Mario Trujillo

The Hill

The Federal Communications Commission would be smart to pause its work on open Internet rules now that Congress has actively joined the fight, GOP commissioner Michael O’Rielly said in a speech Wednesday.

O’Rielly, who worked on Capitol Hill for years before joining the commission, said there is no need to rush the rules, which he and the other Republican commissioner on the FCC are expected to oppose.

“Congress is actively working toward a legislative solution to net neutrality, with hearings taking place today on new bills in the House and the Senate,” he said during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. Read More…

Greater regulation not necessary for Internet, Stanford public policy expert says

January 22, 2015

Clifton B. Parker

Stanford

The government should not impose new regulations on how broadband companies treat traffic on their networks, a Stanford economist says.

Bruce M. Owen, the Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor in Public Policy, Emeritus, wrote in a new policy brief that the Internet should not be over-regulated. He cited calls for similar regulation for other industries – phone companies, railroads and trucking in the 19th and 20th centuries. The rail and trucking industries developed elaborate price discrimination schemes in response to government regulation.

“Such regulation in the past has caused more consumer harm than good, partly by enhancing industry influence on politicians and regulators, and partly by distorting prices and discouraging investment and Read More…

Eight reasons to support Congress’s net neutrality bill

January 21, 2015

Larry Downes

The Washington Post

Late last week, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairmen respectively of the Senate and House Commerce Committees, circulated draft legislationaimed at ending once and for all messy political wrangling over the FCC’s proposed open Internet rules, sometimes known as “net neutrality.” Hearings on the bill will take place in both chambers Wednesday.

The proposed law is short and sweet. It grants the FCC authority to enforce tough new limits on how ISPs manage network traffic, directly addressing the kinds of practices both the agency and the White House have argued could, if implemented by ISPs in the future, threaten the continued success of the U.S. Internet. Read More…

The Turning Point for Internet Freedom

January 21, 2015

Robert McDowell

The Wall Street Journal

The Federal Communications Commission is about to answer the most important question in its 80-year history: Does the agency intend to protect the open Internet, or is it lunging to seize unlimited power over the Web? We’ll find out on Feb. 26 when the FCC votes on “net-neutrality” rules that would treat the Internet like a public utility, with regulators potentially setting rates, terms and conditions for providers.

Meanwhile, the new Congress is maneuvering to change the net-neutrality equation, with hearings in the House and Senate beginning Wednesday. Republicans circulated draft bills on Friday to pre-empt the FCC’s overreaching new rules while still attaining the White House’s ostensible policy goals. Even congressional supporters of net neutrality, wary of increasing FCC power over something as vast and crucial as the Internet, are working to draft an alternative. Read More…

Title II Regulations Would Negatively Impact Jobs

January 23, 2015

Michael J. Horney

The Free State Foundation

Last week, Will Rinehart released a report entitled “Title II Reclassification Negatively Impacts Jobs and Investment.” This report provides additional evidence regarding the impact of Title II regulations on employment to a Perspectives from FSF Scholars that I wrote in December 2014 entitled “Title II Would Not Just Harm Consumers, It Would Harm Workers Too.”Rinehart used investment data from a paper by Kevin Hassett and Robert Shapiro entitled “The Impact of Title II Regulation of Internet Providers On Their Capital Investments,” which I blogged about here. Among many of the Hassett and Shapiro’s findings, one was that Title II regulations would decrease investment by $11.8 billion in 2019, the final year of their estimation. Read More…

Municipal broadband: Maximizing the public good or funding a fiber arms race?

January 22, 2015

Bronwyn Howell

Tech Policy Daily

Last week, the White House announced plans to hold a summit for mayors and county commissioners from around the nation focused on expanding local government-owned broadband networks, which are perceived to be a panacea for providing United States consumers with competition and better, faster, cheaper broadband. The poster children for these claims are municipal and other locally owned networks in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri and Lafayette, Louisiana, where residential consumers have access to speeds up to 1Gbps. The president has claimed such investments will give communities “a huge competitive advantage. It means a business can come in and locate there knowing that they can hook into world markets, products, services, anywhere around the globe.” The president’s pronouncements have also been linked to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s indicationlast year that he believes “it is in the best interests of consumers and competition that the FCC exercises its power to preempt state laws that ban or restrict competition from community broadband.” These claims are made despite the fact, for example, that only a handful of Chattanooga businesses actually subscribe to 1Gbps connections, with conservative estimates suggesting that the often-touted new jobs created in the process have cost over $112,000 each. Read More…

It’s Really, Really Time to Ban Internet Discrimination Forever

January 22, 2015

Bartlett Cleland

Institute for Policy Innovation

Once again the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives, this time because the last temporary extension, passed in December, will expire on October 1. The bipartisan legislation bans taxes on Internet access permanently and disallows multiple or discriminatory taxes on Internet activities. If allowed to expire, states would begin to collect taxes on Internet access, or apply other discriminatory taxes that may already be in place in the state but which have been held at bay during the moratorium.

According to Scott Mackey, former chief economist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, an average household’s taxes would increase by $50 to $75 each year if states apply their sales or telecommunications taxes to Internet access.  While that doesn’t seem like much, keep in mind that that is about what a low-income family spends in a year on subsidized school lunches. Those who qualify for such programs are exactly those who will be most negatively affected by a lapsed moratorium.
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Introducing Title X: Net neutrality in 2015

January 20, 2015

Richard Bennett

Tech Policy Daily

Is broadband Internet special or just a second-generation telephone network? This is the question that two Congressional hearings will address tomorrow, a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing in the morning and a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing in the afternoon.

On its face, it’s an easy question. Internet aficionados have been saying for decades that the Internet is disruptive and innovative, a major revolution in the way we communicate that’s not done yet. Given that, it stands to reason that the Internet warrants the creation of new public policy rather than a recycling of the old.

Congress is intent on breaking ground for this new policy by creating a new section of the Communications Act, the governing law for Read More…

Statement: Thune-Upton Draft Bill Shows Promise to Heal Title II-Deranged FCC

January 19, 2015

Mike Wendy

Media Freedom

Mt. Vernon, VA, January 19, 2015 – MediaFreedom is heartened by a draft bill proposed by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) that is designed to protect and further Internet Openness through a clear and unambiguous policy framework for the Federal Communications Commission to follow.

For the better part of a decade, MediaFreedom and its staff have worked to ensure that the advance of technology, industry best practices and peer policing, consumer education and transparency, competition and present enforcement tools to combat actual consumer harm all work to protect the Internet and help it grow in a sustainable, healthy manner. Over this same period, however, an increasingly activist and radical FCC has worked in the opposite direction to mandate – through hook, crook and loophole – heavy-handed, FDR-era telephone regulations on the provision of Internet services, seeking to “fix” an amorphous “problem” that has never even remotely come close to manifesting itself in the real world. Read More…

Utility Regulation Will Make the Internet Rusty

October 10, 2014

Mike Wendy
Media Freedom

No one loves their public utilities. They’re slow, unresponsive to change, and only just good enough for government work, which isn’t saying much.

If you’d talk to progressives working in the Internet space, though, you’d hear a different story. They think that utilities, and the 19th Century regulation used to control them, are the greatest things since sliced bread.  You see, they want to make private U.S. broadband providers public utilities, and radical groups like Free Press, Public Knowledge and MoveOn.org have pulled out all of the stops to get the Federal Communications Commission to do so.

Why? Read More…

Free State Foundation Comments

September 17, 2014

by Free State Foundation

On the issue of            )           AT&T and Direct TV merger

COMMENTS OF
THE FREE STATE FOUNDATION*
I. Introduction and Summary
These comments are filed in response to the Commission’s request for comments
concerning the agency’s review of the transfer of control of licenses in connection with the
proposed acquisition of DIRECTV by AT&T Inc. These comments do not endorse or oppose the
proposed merger. Rather, their purpose is to set out baseline principles by which the Commission
should evaluate this as well as other mergers and to provide a summary analysis of
AT&T/DIRECTV in light of those principles.
Mergers and acquisitions are competitive entrepreneurial activities Read More…

Free-Market Advocates’ Comments to FCC, Opposing Internet Regulation

July 15, 2014

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of  Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet

GN Docket No. 14-28

Comments of

Free-Market Advocates Opposed to Internet Regulation

For 10 years officials at the Federal Communications Commission have told Americans that the Internet will “break” unless the agency steps in to keep it “free and open.”  All the while, the Internet’s privately driven development has been vibrant, relentless and universal.  Nevertheless, at points during this same period the Commission twice sought to encumber the Internet with restrictive common carrier-like, Net Neutrality regulations.  In response to each of these actions, the DC Circuit twice struck down the agency’s overreach.  In the latest DC Circuit ruling – Verizon v. FCC[1] – the Court struck down the main thrust of the Commission’s arguments, but found that the Commission had some authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act.   The Commission has apparently undertaken the present Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to once again establish a regulatory regime in the absence of a market failure or a clear Congressional grant of authority.

The Internet is “free and open,” making the vast “network of networks” an integral engine for societal growth, participatory democracy and global commerce.  Its healthy development came primarily through the lack of government regulation, not because of it.  Although the Court seems to have offered the FCC a very narrow pathway to impose some form of Net Neutrality regulation on the Internet, nothing demands that the FCC go forward with its present plans.

Read More…

IFC Reply Comments to FCC: Title II Reclassification Unjustified, Unnecessary

August 12, 2010

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of Framework for Broadband Internet Service                    

GN Docket No. 10-127

FCC Docket No. 10-114

 Reply Comments

of the Undersigned Members of the

INTERNET FREEDOM COALITION

Introduction

The Commission is being asked by Free Press and other organizations to pursue a radical course of action – reclassifying information services as telecommunications services in order to regulate the Internet for the first time.  We write to urge the Commission to keep the Internet free of new government regulation and taxation and to refrain from rushing into such a potentially disastrous course of action.

Analysts are only beginning to grasp the extent of the disruptive and destructive consequences of regulating the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and the Commission is in no position to predict the outcome, much less assure Americans it will be positive.  Americans have heard political leaders admit that we will not know the full extent or nature of massive health care and financial services regulations until after the underlying legislation has been passed.  Now, Americans are facing the imposition of an even lesser-understood regulatory regime over the Internet without the benefit of any legislative process whatsoever.

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

IFC Supplemental Reply Comments: FCC Lacks Authority, Justification for Reclassifying Internet as Title II Service

April 26, 2010

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
Preserving the Open Internet              GN Docket No. 09-191                                  
Broadband Industry Practices            WC Docket No. 07-52

Supplemental Reply Comments of the Internet Freedom Coalition

Just two days prior to the Commission’s deadline for reply comments regarding the above Notice of Proposed Rulemakings, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Comcast v. FCC that the Commission has no authority to enact Net Neutrality rules.  The deadline for comments was extended, particularly to facilitate discussion of other methods of promulgating Net Neutrality regulations.

 Beginning with comments on the National Broadband Plan filed by Public Knowledge in January, a small number of organizations have since proposed classifying the Internet as a Title II common carrier service as a way of asserting the Commission’s authority to enact Net Neutrality regulations.  The Internet Freedom Coalition respectfully submits these reply comments in strong opposition to any effort to reclassify the Internet as a Title II service.

Read More…

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