Heartland Institute Experts Comment on FCC Reclassifying Broadband Under Title II

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The Federal Communications Commission today voted 3-2 to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act, a section of the law written in 1934 the FCC uses to regulate telephone service.

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Matthew Glans, Senior Policy Analyst, The Heartland Institute

The Internet is not broken, it is a vibrant, continually growing market that has thrived due to the lack of regulations that Title II will now infest upon it.

The Federal Communications Commission today voted 3-2 to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act, a section of the law written in 1934 the FCC uses to regulate telephone service. The reclassification allows the federal government to treat broadband as a public utility and impose strict “net neutrality” and other regulations.

The following statements from technology and telecommunications experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely(at)heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“Title II reclassification of the Internet is at its core a naked power grab by the Federal Communications Commission that feared its own irrelevance and was grasping at any means to maintain its power.

“The Internet is not broken, it is a vibrant, continually growing market that has thrived due to the lack of regulations that Title II will now infest upon it.

“Title II regulations are archaic throwbacks which are ill-suited to today’s dynamic Internet and broadband markets. The FCC’s attempts to ‘fix’ the Internet, in the name of net neutrality, will only serve to suppress broadband development. When Internet service providers are barred from properly managing the networks they spent billions of dollars to develop, the profit incentive to build new networks is lost and consumers lose.

“Take a close look at your landline and cell phone bills, laden with taxes and fees. Your Internet bill is next.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
mglans(at)heartland.org
312/377-4000

“Say goodbye, America, to the Internet you have always known. The most innovative and vibrant economic sector in human history will now become as responsive to consumer demands as the regulated airlines of the 1970s – and all to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

"The millions of choices consumers make in the digital economy each day will be replaced by the uninformed choices of bureaucrats. So, naturally, those who create and deliver the digital age to your hand will pay more attention to its new Washington masters than its customers.

“Unless this power-grab is overturned by the courts or Congress, the public should long remember this as the day its Internet was replaced by government’s Internet.”

Jim Lakely
Co-Director, Center on the Digital Economy
The Heartland Institute
jlakely(at)heartland.org
312/377-4000

“The FCC’s decision to regulate the Internet like a utility under Title II is the most sweeping FCC decision ever and the mother of all FCC overreaches. The FCC has ignored the legal guidance of the court that twice overturned the FCC before, and is now asserting vastly more unbounded authority over the Internet than the court has twice said the FCC does not have.

“This is very likely strike three for the FCC. Their arbitrarily partisan, Rube Goldberg legal theory, teeters on top of a foundation of falsehoods and a wholesale rejection of many years of FCC findings of facts and bipartisan precedents.”

Scott Cleland
Policy Advisor, Telecommunications
The Heartland Institute
Chairman, NetCompetition
scleland(at)precursor.com
312/377-4000

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

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