Another Power Grab by our President
On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new Net Neutrality regulations. During my time as a computer consultant, I saw firsthand the benefits of the government leaving the Internet alone. The FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband services as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act has now opened the door to what I fear will be increases in user fees, new taxes, and years of litigation over the regulations. We are regulating 21st century technology like 1930’s telephone companies.
Most of us agree that an open internet is a good thing as it provides all of us instant access to information and entertainment. The problem is few, if any people can cite concrete examples of Internet Service Providers not treating them fairly. The fact is a heavy handed regulatory regime under Title II is the wrong approach. The Internet thrives on innovation. Government regulation is like poison to progress. Over the past two weeks, I asked for your thoughts on Net Neutrality, and the response was clear: 77% of you do not see the need for this type of regulatory action by the FCC.
On November 10, 2014, the President called on the FCC to “take up the strongest possible rules” to enforce Net Neutrality. This is just another example of executive overreach by the President and his Administration. These regulations were formulated behind closed doors and without a public comment period.
I recently signed on to a letter sent to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as part of my role on the House Judiciary Committee expressing my concerns over the ruling. On March 17, 2015, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the impact of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rule. I look forward to updating you on what I learn from this hearing.