State Legislators Concerned by FCC's New Internet Regulation Strategy

Jun 17, 2010, 17:57 ET from American Legislative Exchange Council

WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation's largest non-partisan individual member organization of state legislators, expresses serious concerns over new federal bureaucratic plans to regulate Internet space.  Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to issue a notice containing new plans for regulating broadband Internet access.  The notice contains the FCC Chairman's "third way" proposal to end broadband Internet's lightly-regulated status as a Title I "information service" by reclassifying it as a traditional common carrier-regulated Title II "telecommunications service." 



"Applying outdated telephone monopoly regulation to broadband Internet is bad policy, not visionary policy," said Rep. William Hamzy (CT), Public Sector Chair of ALEC's Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force.  "We support a free and open Internet.  And governmental authority already exists to combat anticompetitive practices and to protect consumers from fraud or abuse.  But regulating Internet access like old telephone monopoly systems will result in years of lawsuits.  The consequences of such regulatory and legal uncertainties will be chilled investment in new broadband infrastructure and reduced job creation.  By trying to ram through new Internet regulation, the FCC is losing sight of our pressing need to encourage broadband deployment to un-served areas and promote adoption by un-connected Americans."

Earlier this year, over 90 state legislators submitted a joint letter to the FCC opposing earlier plans to impose network neutrality regulation.  ALEC's Resolution on Net Neutrality opposes federal and state regulation of network management practices.   Last year, ALEC also adopted a Broadband Internet Adoption and Programs Use Resolution that "calls upon all levels of governments to work cooperatively with the private sector, nonprofits, and academia to develop robust broadband awareness, adoption, and use programs."

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SOURCE American Legislative Exchange Council