Tags: America's Forum | Net Neutrality | Phil Kerpen | FCC | net neutrality | lawsuits

Phil Kerpen: 'Tons of Lawsuits' Coming on Net Neutrality

By    |   Friday, 27 February 2015 11:10 AM

The FCC's decision Thursday to convert the Internet from an unregulated, competitive-free market to a government-controlled utility known as net neutrality will regulate every economic aspect of the Internet, according to American Commitment president and free-market policy analyst Phil Kerpen.

"Every rate that's charged between companies, between companies and consumers, they're now all going to be subject to adjust a reasonable standard, which means complaints can be filed at the FCC, which … lawyers can litigate," Kerpen said Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

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"There are going to be tons of lawsuits all over the place. Repeals say 'I don't like that price, it's too high, I don't like the way they're managing this network, I don't like that they're allowing this service and not that service.'

"It is going to change what's been the greatest engine of economic growth and creativity as a free market-type system into a heavily regulated micromanagement system by bureaucrats in Washington and trial lawyers and we don't even know all the details because they won't tell us."

Most Americans don't believe the regulations will end there, he added.

"It'll lead to content control as well," he predicted. "Sixty-eight percent of Americans, according to a survey, believe that regulating the Internet risks content control and here's how this is going to happen they're going to destroy private investment with all of these rules and regulations, we're going to be forced to make up for that private investment with our tax dollars in universal service fund fees, state and local federal taxes and so forth.

"When we're paying 20 percent, 30 percent or 40 percent of the cost of the network as taxes, suddenly people will say this is a public network, it needs to be run in the public interest with public interest regulation, equal time requirements, we need to make sure that the voices of all are heard and so forth. We're starting down an extremely dangerous path if this order is allowed to stand. The order is probably illegal, so we'll see what happens in court, but you can never count on them."

Over time, consumers will see a lot of state and local taxes and fees applied to their bills in the same way that phone companies apply those costs to phone bills, according to Kerpen.

"It will increase prices 12.4 percent with just the state and local fees and there's also the question of federal universal taxes," he said.

From a government policy standpoint, the FCC should have done the exact opposite of what it did Thursday, he opined.

"We ought to make it easier for new competitors to build out, we shouldn't put more regulations, we should be taking them off and in particular at the local level, we should make it much easier to get poll attachments and much easier to get access to underground conduits and we should get rid of all these antiquated franchising requirements where people have to build out in areas of town where it might not be profitable," said Kerpen.

"We should make it as easy as possible for more companies to enter the market, but unfortunately, new regulations have the opposite impact and they're not going to make your service better. Federal regulators are not going to make whatever problems you have better, they're going to make it worse."

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The FCC will eventually regulate every economic aspect of the Internet, according to free-market policy analyst Phil Kerpen.
Phil Kerpen, FCC, net neutrality, lawsuits
Friday, 27 February 2015 11:10 AM
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