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Welcome to the Obamanet

February 27, 2015

The Wall Street Journal

The Federal Communications Commission’s decision Thursday to regulate the Internet as a public utility is a depressing moment for American innovation and economic liberty. The FCC is grabbing political control over a vibrant market that until now has been driven by inventors and consumers. Welcome to the Obamanet.

President Obama demanded this result in a November speech, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel have now dutifully voted to apply last century’s monopoly telephone rules to Internet service providers. They have in the process made a mockery of the agency’s supposed independence. Read More…

The FCC Just Voted to Regulate the Internet Like a Utility

February 27, 2015

Peter Suderman

Reason

In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to radically overhaul the way Internet service is regulated. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the commission’s two Democratic commissioners voted to move forward with the rules. The agency’s two GOP-appointed commissioners opposed them.

Under the new rules, broadband providers, long classified by the agency as Title I information services, will now be regulated as Title II telecommunications services—essentially making them public utilities, like the phone system. The move is designed to allow the FCC to implement strict net neutrality rules limiting how much control Internet service providers (ISPs) can exert over what passes over their networks. Read More…

FCC Votes Against Innovation: Net Neutrality Debate Now Moves to Courts and Congress

February 27, 2015

James Gattuso

The Daily Signal

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to place massive “net neutrality” restrictions on America’s Internet providers, in the process redefining them as public utilities.

If the decision stands, it would be a significant blow for the Internet and for its users.  The issue is far from settled, however: the FCC’s rules will almost certainly be subject to review in the courts, where their fate is uncertain. Moreover, Congress—the constitutionally-charged body for lawmaking—may also have its say.

Under the new rules, wireless Internet service providers will also be treated as public utilities, facing thousands of regulations.

Network-neutrality regulation—roughly defined as government-imposed rules that force Internet service providers to treat every bit of content on their networks exactly the same way, limiting not just premium service offerings, but also discounts to consumers (such as T-Mobile’s plan to waive data fees for users of certain music services)—has been contentiously debated for over a decade now. Twice during this time, the FCC has tried to impose such rules—in 2005 and again in 2010—and twice it has been rebuffed by the courts, which found the agency lacked authority to act. Read More…

Despite What FCC Chairman Wheeler Says, His Proposal Will Increase Taxes

February 19, 2015

Michael Horney

The Free State Foundation

The common perception among Title II opponents is that reclassification of broadband as a telecommunications service would levy a massive amount of new taxes and fees on Internet users. Robert Litan and Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute estimated in a December 2014 policy brief that Title II regulations will add about $15 billion in new taxes.Free Press claims that the extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) by Congress eliminates the possibility of Title II reclassification resulting in any new taxes or fees. Now that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a synopsis of his proposal (he has not released full proposal to the public), it is important that we get a straight answer.Although Chairman Wheeler did not mention anything about new taxes or fees in his Wired blog post on his proposal on February 4th, the FCC Fact Sheet on the proposal clearly states:The Order will not impose, suggest or authorize any new taxes or fees – there will be no automatic Universal Service fees applied and the congressional moratorium on Internet taxation applies to broadband.So it is clear? Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to reclassify broadband under Title II will not add any new taxes or fees, right? Wrong! Read More…

Obama’s Plan to Regulate the Internet Risks Content Control

February 19, 2015

Phil Kerpen

Town Hall

Proponents of President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet insist they oppose content control. They even style themselves defenders of free speech. But there is a very serious risk that changing the Internet from an unregulated free enterprise into a heavily-regulated public utility will lead over time to content control.

This risk is dismissed as a myth or even a “lie” by proponents of the president’s plan. A few years ago an employee of Free Press — a group founded by a Marxist college professor who famously said “the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control” — accused me of “a crackpot conspiracy” because I was concerned that economic regulation could lead to content control. Read More…

Net Neutrality Vote Shows Congress Must Rein In and Replace the FCC

February 27, 2015

Wayne Crews

Competitive Enterprise Institute

The separation of powers doctrine demands that Congress not tolerate unelected federal agencies going it alone and making binding law.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on a party line vote, has elected to impose so-called net neutrality regulation via a reclassification of the formerly lightly regulated Internet under Title II of the Communications Act.

Somehow, we suddenly need government force to protect the freedom we’ve known online, with a 332-page set of rules no one outside the agency has seen. Read More…

Today’s FCC Actions Create ObamaNet, and Americans Will Suffer for It

February 27, 2015

Mike Wendy

Media Freedom

Mt. Vernon, VA, February 26, 2015 – Welcome to Occupy the Internet – that is, ObamaNet. Today’s two White House Orders from its “independent” FCC have effected a virtual and physical takeover of the Web. It cannot be put any more plainly than that. Sadly, Americans will suffer as a result.

How? Let’s take a look.

FCC” Order number 1: Imposition of utility regulations for the Internet. In seeking to make the Internet more “fair and open,” the FCC’s circa-1934 utility laws ban practices, agreements and exchanges of information which every other segment of our economy uses to make better, cheaper, more innovative and commercially sustainable offerings for consumers and society. Instead of free actors in the marketplace making decisions on their own, the FCC now is in charge, even though it can’t keep its own website from crashing. Say goodbye to private investment and permission-less innovation, especially the stuff on the margins.ObamaNet will slow the vital medium down to the speed of government. But, that’s OK because it’s “fair” and the “right thing to do” so evil corporations don’t screw up “our” Internet. Read More…

Americans Face Billions in Higher Internet Taxes & Fees Due to Today’s FCC Vote

February 27, 2015

Patrick M. Gleason

Americans for Tax Reform

Today the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate the Internet as a public utility. This ruling is bad news for taxpayers, as it will trigger billions of dollars in additional state and local taxes and fees. Scroll down to read ATR president Grover Norquist’s recent column in Reuters explaining how this government takeover of the Internet will reduce the disposable income of individuals, families, and employers. Read More…

OBAMA’S FCC VOTES TO BREAK THE INTERNET AND UNDERMINE STATES’ RIGHTS

February 27, 2015

Kuper Jones

American’s for Prosperity

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on two measures that will result in the federal agency acting with unprecedented authority –a trend among President Obama’s agencies.

The first vote was on the issue of municipal broadband or networks owned by local governments. The majority of municipal networks across the country have failed, or are failing, and have left taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars. About 20 states have passed laws limiting local governments’ ability to build municipal networks in order to protect their constituents from the serious financial risk that comes with such networks. Despite the numerous red flags raised by failed m Read More…

The FCC votes to regulate a booming Internet

February 27, 2015

Bret Swanson

Tech Policy Daily

Seventy-three private firms, according to The Wall Street Journal, are now members of “the billion-dollar startup club.” Fifty of these start-ups are American, and a number of them have recently achieved valuations of $10, $20, even $40 billion.

The total value of the 50 US club members is $223.9 billion and does not include the 10 club members that went public or were acquired in 2014. Many US public technology firms are, likewise, booming. The market values of just seven tech leaders – Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle, Intel, and Amazon – total around $2.25 trillion. Apple alone is twice as valuable as any firm in the world, including Exxon Mobil and Google. 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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