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Net Neutrality Review Reflects Democrats' Empty, Anti-Prosperity Agenda

Net Neutrality Review Reflects Democrats' Empty, Anti-Prosperity Agenda
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By    |   Monday, 14 May 2018 02:25 PM

On June 11, the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIF) will go into effect, officially overturning Obama’s Net Neutrality utility regulation for ISPs.  

It’s about time.  As FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, states:

“…The Internet wasn’t broken in 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure and imposed heavy-handed Title II rules on the Internet economy…[T]hese unnecessary and harmful Internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored…”

So, all anti-Trump hysteria aside, no, the Internet will not break, or go dark, or end on that day.  Rather, it will get better for consumers and society as a result of a return to the pre-2015, light-touch approach.

Not accepting this reality, Senate Democrats, led by Senator Ed Markey,D-Mass., are knee-deep in efforts to move a controversial Congressional Review Act resolution, which would nullify the present FCC’s light-touch regime and effectively re-impose much of Obama’s rejected Net Neutrality law. 

There’s some good news in all this, though.

While it remains unlikely that the Net Neutrality CRA will become law, the tactic appears to be splitting progressives.  Staunch Net Neutrality supporters like the Los Angeles Times have come out and called it “more of a distraction than a solution.” It’s urging Congress to craft “a bipartisan deal giving the commission limited but clear authority to regulate broadband providers and preserve net neutrality.”

Compromise efforts to guide the Internet’s growth (some even bipartisan) have been around since 2010, but today’s progressive hardliners want only the most restrictive type of Open Internet “protections,” as exemplified in Net Neutrality.  Trump RESIST animus makes this even more appealing to them.

The CRA tactic is nevertheless telling.  Markey and his comrades’ RESIST machinations reveal that at root all they have to sell to their voters is an empty, anti-prosperity agenda.  This will backfire on them.     

In seeking a return to in-apt utility regulation of the Internet, the CRA:

  • Does not promote investment – Obama Net Neutrality strips ISPs of their ability to monetize their property as they reasonably want, undermining investment and growth in their networks.
  • Does not promote innovation – A return to the prior rules would bring back the purposely vague “Internet Conduct Standard” and its arbitrary power to decide what new marketplace practices and procedures are acceptable, thwarting permission-less innovation, which made the Internet ecosystem thrive.  
  • Does not promote competition – Utility regulation leads to price controls and property confiscation, a buzzkill to free market competition.
  • Does not protect privacy – Congress forbade the FCC from policing ISP privacy practices in 2017, but a return to Net Neutrality rules makes ISPs common carriers again, mooting FTC authority to check ISP privacy behavior, while also breaking-up comprehensive, Internet ecosystem privacy enforcement.
  • Does not protect free speech – Net Neutrality bans such reasonable business practices as paid priority, forbidding ISPs and their communications partners from working together and speaking as they see fit.

Quite simply, the Dems’ Net Neutrality CRA shows they value politics over prosperity.  Consequently, those pushing it do so at their own peril.  Because come June 11, the Internet will be great again (just like our economy).

Americans of all stripes prefer this over empty-agenda, confidence-job politics.    

Mike Wendy is president of Media Freedom, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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MikeWendy
Senate Democrats, led by Senator Ed Markey,D-Mass., are knee-deep in efforts to move a controversial Congressional Review Act resolution, which would nullify the present FCC’s light-touch regime and effectively re-impose much of Obama’s rejected Net Neutrality law. 
net, neutrality, democrats, agenda
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2018-25-14
Monday, 14 May 2018 02:25 PM
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