June 15th, 2011 at 4:59 pm
“Net Neutrality” At Six Months – FCC Still Hasn’t Published Order in Federal Registry
Six months ago this coming Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its Chairman Julius Genachowski – Barack Obama’s old comrade and Harvard Law School classmate – hastily imposed the infamous and deceptively-named “Net Neutrality” regulations. Just days before Christmas and fresh off the Administration’s effective takeover of the automobile, banking and healthcare sectors, Genachowski and his two fellow Democrat Commissioners rammed those regulations through against the wishes of (1) a solid majority of Americans, (2) a rare bipartisan Congressional majority and (3) a unanimous U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which declared the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” effort illegal mere months earlier.
The FCC’s maneuver move marked the first time in history that the federal government appointed itself authority to micromanage how Internet service providers operating in the ostensibly free market could and could not operate their own private networks. Never mind, of course, the years and hundreds of billions of dollars in private investment required to build out and maintain those private networks – desperately-needed investment that continues to create rapid innovation and well-paying jobs.
The FCC’s illegal and unwise “Net Neutrality” regulations immediately jeopardized those billions of investment dollars, and will continue to do so should they somehow withstand judicial scrutiny.
Now, making things even worse, as the bare one-person Democratic majority moves full speed ahead with unnecessary and counterproductive Internet regulations on both wired and wireless Internet networks, Chairman Genachowski appears to be playing games by dragging his feet in order to obstruct the lawsuits and legislation to repeal the FCC’s unauthorized “Net Neutrality” rules. Specifically, Chairman Genachowski appears to be delaying the publication of the FCC’s order in the Federal Registry to go forum-shopping and avoid the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit where the FCC lost last year and will likely lose again.
Thus, just like Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the FCC has become a rogue government agency willing to act beyond its statutory authority to commandeer both the wired and wireless Internet. As our economy and employment market continue to struggle, now is the time for us to stop the Obama FCC’s rogue effort via the courts and Congress.
March 16th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
New Congress Deals Big-Government “Net Neutrality” Another Blow
Yesterday, the new House of Representatives took another step to make good on its campaign promises last fall to the American people.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee, by a 30 to 23 vote, approved a resolution prohibiting Obama’s rogue Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from imposing so-called “Net Neutrality” on the nation’s Internet sector. This follows last week’s 15-8 vote by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee on the same issue. The FCC doesn’t possess the legal authority to regulate the Internet via “Net Neutrality” in the first instance, as a unanimous court of appeals ruled last year. Further, Americans oppose this sort of Internet regulation by a solid two-to-one margin, and a rare bipartisan majority of 300 from Congress has formally instructed the FCC against pursuing this lawless course. Ignoring all of that, the FCC rammed through “Net Neutrality” by a partisan 3-2 vote in December.
Big-government activists claim that “Net Neutrality” is somehow necessary to prevent Internet service providers, who invest the tens of billions of dollars necessary to create the networks on which the Internet passes, from blocking various websites or maliciously discriminating in Internet traffic. But they cannot explain why that hypothetical epidemic of blockage has never occurred despite two decades of explosive Internet growth in our lives. And with good reason – any service provider that did so would quickly find itself out of business due to irate customers. But never mind that. What are facts, after all, against the desire to add yet another sector of the American economy to the Obama Administration’s regulation?
Fortunately, Americans know better. And just as fortunately, Congress and the courts are doing something about it.
February 17th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
House, Senate Introduce Resolution to Repeal “Net Neutrality”
Two months ago, when Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed its “Net Neutrality” proposal by a partisan 3-2 margin, we guaranteed that it would inevitably be defeated via legislation, the courts or both.
Sure enough, last month Verizon Communications challenged the FCC’s rogue vote in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the same court that unanimously ruled last April that the FCC doesn’t possess lawful authority to impose Net “Neutrality.” Now this week, both the House and Senate introduced resolutions to repeal the FCC’s rogue action. The resolutions were introduced pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule federal agency regulations via simple majority. Importantly, such resolutions are not subject to normal Senate filibuster hurdles.
“Net Neutrality” constitutes a destructive and illegal federal intrusion into the Internet, which has managed to flourish just fine over the past two decades without Obama Administration micromanagement, thank you very much. The American public opposes it by a 2-to-1 margin, courts have rejected it unanimously and Congressional opposition is bipartisan. While “Net Neutrality’s” demise is a matter of when, not if, it is still absolutely critical that we as citizens maintain our resolve to spare the Internet sector from becoming bureaucrats’ tech version of ObamaCare.
January 21st, 2011 at 10:46 am
Verizon Challenges Net “Neutrality” – Obama’s FCC Picked a Fight, and It Got One
Last month, President Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted by a partisan 3-2 margin to regulate Internet service via Net “Neutrality.” On that date, we predicted,”The FCC’s reckless effort to regulate Internet traffic will now begin a slow death march to ultimate defeat from legal challenges and Congressional action.”
Exactly one month later, the judicial front in that battle is underway.
Yesterday, Verizon Communications challenged the FCC’s rogue vote in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. That’s the same court that unanimously ruled last April that the FCC doesn’t possess lawful authority to impose Net “Neutrality,” but the FCC defiantly pressed ahead despite that unequivocal ruling. In so doing, the FCC also defied 2-to-1 public opposition and a bipartisan group of 300 from Congress. Obama took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal this week to profess a new commitment to regulatory restraint in pursuit of a healthier economy, job creation and more humble federal government. But his own FCC belies that supposed commitment with its Net “Neutrality” agenda.
Leaders of the new 112th Congress have also committed to overturning the FCC’s destructive attempt to regulate Internet service. Whether the demise of Net “Neutrality” comes legislatively or judicially, it can’t come soon enough for American consumers, investors and employers.
June 15th, 2010 at 11:26 am
“Net Neutrality” – Broadband Expansion Requires Regulatory Restraint, Not Regulatory Expansion
Whom do you trust with the future of broadband? The same federal government that brought us public education, the Post Office and Amtrak?
Or the innovative technology companies that have made the Internet the most vibrant and transformative sector of our modern economy in an atmosphere relatively free from federal overregulation? Public opinion is unequivocal – we trust technology enterprises, not the federal government.
That question nevertheless remains an important one, because Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its far-left cheerleaders continue their effort to impose “Net Neutrality” and set us on a path toward a federal regulatory takeover of the Internet. On Thursday, the FCC will hold an open meeting to”consider possible legal frameworks for broadband Internet services,” which is code for its “Net Neutrality” takeover attempt. On the heels of a unanimous Court of Appeals decision ruling that the FCC doesn’t possess authority to impose “Net Neutrality,” Chairman Genachowski switched to Plan B – simply reclassify Internet service under Depression-era regulations created for 1930s landline telephone service. That scheme contradicts bipartisan consensus spanning both the Clinton and Bush administrations, which is why Democrats and Republicans in Congress sent letters to the FCC objecting to this maneuver.
If successful, the FCC’s backdoor scheme to impose “Net Neutrality” (a dishonest name if there ever was one) will undermine the freedom of technology companies to innovate and invest, which has been the basis of the Internet’s success thus far. Instead of triggering broadband expansion, “Net Neutrality” will only invite years of litigation and acrimony if the FCC presses this agenda.
We simply cannot allow the FCC and federal bureaucracy to do to the Internet what it has done for public education in this country.
June 10th, 2010 at 5:33 pm
91% of Americans Satisfied With Broadband Speed, Yet FCC Continues to Push “Net Neutrality”
When was the last time that a scientific survey reported 91% agreement on anything, other than that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) is a really creepy guy?
Yet that’s precisely the consensus contained in a survey released by the very Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that continues to push so-called “Net Neutrality” despite overwhelming public, judicial and bipartisan Congressional opposition. According to the FCC itself, nine out of ten respondents are happy with their broadband speed:
Fully 91% of broadband users say they are ‘very’ or ’somewhat’ satisfied with the speed they get at home.”
Yet the FCC continues to concoct an imaginary broadband crisis just around the corner as an alibi for proposed “Net Neutrality” regulation.
With this reality staring it straight in the face, why does the FCC persist in pushing “Net Neutrality” upon the American public? Also consider that the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC does not possess authority to impose “Net Neutrality,” which merely triggered the FCC shenanigan of announcing that it would reclassify Internet service under Depression-era rules created to govern 1930s landline telephones. Also consider that the public opposes “Net Neutrality” by a two-to-one margin (a dramatic turnaround since 2008), and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress sent separate letters to the FCC opposing this atrocious proposal.
None of this seems to interrupt Chairman Julius Genachowski and his slim FCC majority. “Net Neutrality” will be defeated, whether via judicial, Congressional or administrative avenues. But how long will it take for Genachowski to wake up and smell that coffee?
May 6th, 2010 at 8:11 am
REPORTS: Obama’s FCC Will Revert to New Deal-Era Laws to Impose “Net Neutrality”
Just last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held unanimously that Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t possess authority to nationalize the Internet via so-called “Net Neutrality.” And in the court of public opinion, the American electorate opposes this destructive scheme to dictate Internet traffic flow by a 2-to-1 margin.
So how is the hyper-politicized FCC choosing to respond? By reverting to decades-old New Deal-era laws to shoehorn the Internet into statutes drafted for 1930s landline telephones. Since the advent of the Internet era in 1996, Congress, the courts and the FCC have rightfully designated the Internet an “information service,” and therefore subject to different rules than archaic early telephone lines.
But according to news reports, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce today his reckless “damn the torpedoes” approach. Just as Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid reverted to every available scheme to impose ObamaCare on an unwilling public, the FCC will apparently adopt the same approach to federalize Internet service, one of the few sectors that has maintained its dynamism during the economic downturn. With its humiliating Court of Appeals defeat to one side and looming November elections on the other, yet another Obama Administration arm thus prefers hyperpartisanship over compromise and reasonability.
As always, American consumers and our economy will pay the price for this component of the Obama Agenda, since it will stifle the private investment and broadband buildout necessary to keep pace with ever-increasing Internet use. Fortunately, this scheme will ultimately meet the same result handed down by the Court of Appeals last month, but only after years of costly litigation, regulatory limbo and acrimony.
Justice will prevail and we will win this battle, but it’s going to take another good fight. The stakes are too high to relent.
May 4th, 2010 at 6:43 pm
Reports: Obama’s FCC May Abandon “Net Neutrality” Attempt to Regulate Internet
Amidst the endless onslaught of regulatory aggression by the Obama Administration, it’s nice to receive some potentially good news every now and then.
On that note, reports are surfacing that Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its Chairman Julius Genachowski may be abandoning their effort to regulate the Internet via “Net Neutrality.” According to sources, Genachowski has smelled the coffee following the D.C. Court of Appeals decision rebuking the FCC’s power grab:
The sources said Genachowski thinks ‘reclassifying’ broadband to allow for more regulation would be overly burdensome on carriers and would deter investment. But they said he also thinks the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC’s authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy.”
That is precisely correct. “Net Neutrality” would have an effect 180 degrees opposite of what its name implies by increasing governmental interference over the heretofore free Internet, and would trigger a flood of litigation and regulatory limbo. Ultimately, the FCC would meet a judicial rebuke similar to the one it just suffered in the Court of Appeals.
“Net Neutrality” isn’t dead yet, and this is certainly no time to rest. Those of us who believe in individual freedom and limited government must keep up our pressure and efforts to stop this big government boondoggle. Still, it’s nice to receive potentially positive news once in a while to see that our efforts are having a positive effect.