Latta reintroduced bipartisan legislation to ensure the Internet remains open and free from government interference by limiting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC has stated it plans to reclassify broadband Internet access as a public utility under Title II rather than an information service.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, reintroduced bipartisan legislation to ensure the Internet remains open and free from government interference by limiting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC has stated it plans to reclassify broadband Internet access as a public utility under Title II rather than an information service.
“The FCC’s plans to reclassify broadband under Title II are misguided,” said Latta. “Imposing monopoly-era telephone rules on a 21st Century industry that has thrived under the current light-touch regulatory framework will undoubtedly impede the economic growth and innovation that have resulted in the broadband marketplace absent government interference. These businesses thrive on dynamism and the ability to evolve quickly to shifting market and consumer forces. Subjecting them to bureaucratic red tape won’t promote innovation, consumer welfare or the economy. My legislation provides the certainty needed for continued investment in broadband networks and services that have been fundamental for job creation, productivity and consumer choice.”
Experts, including the Progressive Policy Institute, have stated that the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet under Title II would be disastrous for the Internet and our economy. Reclassification could add another $17 billion in user fees and taxes for consumers on top of the $1.5 billion already planned to fund the E-Rate program. In addition, it would discourage ISPs from investing in broadband infrastructure — leading to more congestion and higher access prices.
A copy of Congressman Latta’s legislation can be found here.
On Title II Reclassification: “The end loser will be consumers. The Internet isn’t’ a utility, so we shouldn’t treat it as one” – – – House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) continued speaking out against heavy-handed regulation of the Internet currently being advocated for by President Obama.
“The success of the Internet has not been by chance. The light-touch regulatory framework that has long governed its operation and functionality has been central to the innovation and advancement we are experiencing at both the core and edge of the network today. Unfortunately, many ignore or underestimate the significance of this light-touch regulatory approach and negligently dismiss its importance to the success of the broadband marketplace and surrounding ecosystem. …
“It is extremely troubling and disappointing to hear the president urge the FCC to adopt a stronger regulatory framework for the open Internet. Reclassification under Title II threatens our thriving Internet economy and the American jobs it creates. If we heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, this will undoubtedly restrict Internet Service Provider’s flexibility to innovate and stunt their ability to make robust investments and expand high-quality broadband service to all Americans. The end loser will be consumers. The Internet isn’t a utility, so we shouldn’t treat it as one. …
“At a time when the Internet is one of the few bright spots of the economy, driving productivity and economic growth, and offering increased speeds, lower costs, and more choices for consumers, fundamentally changing the laws to preserve this progress simply does not make sense. My hope is that the FCC will reject calls to increase its regulatory footprint over the Internet.”
Read the full speech here.