FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of: )
Protecting and Promoting the Open ) GN Docket No. 14-28
Comment of the Center for Individual Freedom in Opposition to Internet Regulation
The Center for Individual Freedom (hereinafter “CFIF”), a constitutional and free market advocacy organization with more than 250,000 activists and supporters nationwide, respectfully submits the following supplemental Comment in opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” regulation of the Internet contemplated by the Federal Communications Commission (hereinafter “FCC”).
CFIF has filed a joint Comment in this matter alongside fellow free-market advocates, which details in fuller depth our substantive and legal opposition to this unprecedented form of Internet regulation. We submit this separate supplemental Comment, however, to emphasize a point particular to CFIF.
Specifically, in recent weeks CFIF has worked to educate and inform its activist base and others about the Internet regulations contemplated in this matter. As part of that effort, CFIF has invited public comment on the matter. To date, CFIF’s efforts alone have resulted in no fewer than 60,000 comments being generated and sent to the FCC and Congress in opposition to the proposed FCC rules. Those comments read, in part:
“Over the past two decades, the Internet has flourished and revolutionized our lives precisely because it has remained free of government overregulation. Recently, however, Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new rules that would reclassify broadband Internet as a monopoly-era plain old telephone service of decades past (a.k.a. common carrier telecommunications service) under Title II of the Communications Act. Simply put, the federal government micromanaging the Internet is a dangerous scheme, one that Congress must halt and the FCC must abandon. As a concerned citizen, I urge you to do everything in your power to stop any and all efforts by the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet under Title II of the Communications Act.”
These citizens join CFIF in recognizing that the campaign to regulate the Internet like a public utility is one whose transparent goal and effect is to leverage federal regulatory force to the benefit of a narrow group of special interests. It also constitutes an example of activist and bureaucratic hubris, one that will ultimately only harm consumers, jeopardize continued private investment in Internet infrastructure, threaten job growth and sow regulatory uncertainty.
According to former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, "the Internet is the greatest deregulatory success story of all time — a simple fact that vexes those seeking new and unnecessary rules.” To date, $1.2 trillion has been invested into Internet infrastructure since 1996 by private broadband providers, while the Internet has given rise to leading American content companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix, as well as over 750,000 jobs encompassing today’s “apps economy.” Additionally, more than 99 percent of Americans have access to multiple high speed wireless or wired Internet service options, Internet speeds have increased 1,500 percent in the last decade and today 85 percent of American households possess access to networks capable of 100 megabits per second or higher. By almost any objective measure, the Internet has flourished, all because of a conscious policy decision by lawmakers since the mid-1990s not to regulate the Internet as some sort of public utility.
Accordingly, CFIF implores the FCC to halt this dangerous attempt to micromanage Internet service.
Center for Individual Freedom
815 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
July 18, 2014