Tags: net | neutrality | House | Obama

House to Investigate Obama Role in Pushing Net Neutrality

By    |   Saturday, 07 Feb 2015 05:13 PM

House Republicans launched a formal probe on Friday to determine if the Obama White House coerced the Federal Communications Commission — an independent, bipartisan agency — into enacting the president's call for sweeping new regulations on all Internet service providers, according to reports.

Critics of the new restrictions, which are aimed at imposing so-called "net neutrality" on Web traffic, have argued they will hamper online innovation and improvement, and leave consumers paying more for monthly Internet service.

In a letter this week to the FCC, the lawmaker who will lead the investigation, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, raised the possibility of "improper influence" exerted by the administration and "concerns about … the independence of the agency."

As recently as November, President Barack Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler were widely viewed as divided on net neutrality — the concept of one speed for all online content flowing across the Internet.

Wheeler reportedly opposed re-classifying Internet providers as public utilities — like gas or electric companies — in order to bar them from selectively speeding up or slowing down customers' broadband traffic, or charging different fees for different speeds.

Then Obama made a speech that month in which he embraced net neutrality and called for "the strongest rules possible" to enforce it.

On Wednesday, Wheeler announced the FCC would take regulatory action that observers described as essentially identical to Obama's stated preference.

Republicans in Congress and other net neutrality skeptics viewed Wheeler's apparent reversal, and the president's possible role, with suspicion.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said the FCC had caved "to the bully tactics of political activists and the president himself," the Wall Street Journal reported.

"There is no precedent for the president of the United States to weigh in on an open docket at the FCC and instruct the FCC as to what to do," former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"Unfortunately, this is what we've seen," said Furchtgott-Roth, who also predicted the new rules will force higher bills on Internet users by squelching competition among broadband providers.

"Everyone's going to be affected by these new regulations," he said, "and each of these companies is going to have less incentive to invest in equipment and new services than they do without these rules."

In his letter to Wheeler, Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, demanded the FCC turn over documents, visitors logs, and correspondence with the White House regarding the new rules by Feb. 20

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
House Republicans launched a formal probe on Friday to determine if the Obama White House coerced the Federal Communications Commission - an independent, bipartisan agency - into enacting the president's call for sweeping new regulations on all Internet service providers,...
net, neutrality, House, Obama
416
2015-13-07
Saturday, 07 Feb 2015 05:13 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved