Tags: America's Forum | Net Neutrality | Kevin Cramer | FCC | net neutrality | congress

Rep. Kevin Cramer: FCC's Net Neutrality Plan Will Land in Court

By    |   Thursday, 26 February 2015 11:28 AM

If the FCC moves forward and reclassifies the Internet as a regulated utility — in a move known as net neutrality — there is "no doubt" the issue will be litigated, North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

The FCC should not intercede in the Internet debate since Congress has been working in a bipartisan manner for years to make sure the World Wide Web is available to everyone, according to Cramer, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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The courts have already decided twice in recent history that the government doesn't have the authority to do so, according to Cramer, and it may take another round of litigation to convince those in favor of so-called net neutrality.

"The idea that the FCC is somehow going to clarify things is really unfortunate because what Congress does have the authority to do, of course, is prescribe solutions to problems that exist by putting into statute specific prescriptions — and we're trying to do that," Cramer said.

"It further complicates the problem when you have the regulatory agency going out on its own, trying to trump what Congress is already working on in a, by the way, bipartisan fashion."

The idea that a vast number of Americans are being underserved or manipulated by Internet providers is false, Cramer said.

"I represent one of the most remote places in America, center of the North American continent, very rural, and even in rural North Dakota you have two, three, four competitive choices in terms of who your Internet service provider is," he said. "From time to time … there will be a complaint launched about a particular app or a particular rider on the Internet and those complaints are generally dealt with very quickly. Very quickly.

"And frankly the market is the better regulator anyway. If you feel like something's being throttled or something's being blocked, some content is being blocked by a service provider, maybe your cable company, then you hook up with Verizon or AT&T.

"I mean I don't know a better regulator in the marketplace than the consumer."

If the FCC's version of net neutrality goes through, it will result in less innovation and diminished opportunity on the Internet, Cramer said.

"If there is one thing in the history of the country, certainly in the last couple of decades — if not couple of hundred years, is that the Internet has proven to be the great illustration of what free enterprise and an open market can really do in terms of innovation and unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of this country," he said.

"I don't know how any Silicon Valley entrepreneur can say, 'boy, I've really been held back by this terrible Internet thing, these monopolies.' This is not Ma Bell of the 1930s."

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If the FCC moves forward with net neutrality there is "no doubt" the issue will be litigated, North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
Kevin Cramer, FCC, net neutrality, congress
Thursday, 26 February 2015 11:28 AM
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