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Latta Sounds Alarm About Utility-Style Regulation of the Internet

Washington, November 14, 2014 | Sarah Criser (202-225-6405)
House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) today continued speaking out against heavy-handed regulation of the Internet currently being advocated for by President Obama. During the Free State Foundation’s policy seminar entitled, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the 'Utility Model' on Internet Providers,” Latta lauded the many success stories of innovation and growth provided by light regulatory touch and cautioned that new regulations on the Internet will impede innovation, job creation, and consumer choice. Excerpts of Latta’s speech below:

“The success of the Internet has not been by chance. The light-touch regulatory framework that has long governed its operation and functionality has been central to the innovation and advancement we are experiencing at both the core and edge of the network today. Unfortunately, many ignore or underestimate the significance of this light-touch regulatory approach and negligently dismiss its importance to the success of the broadband marketplace and surrounding ecosystem. …

“It is extremely troubling and disappointing to hear the president urge the FCC to adopt a stronger regulatory framework for the open Internet. Reclassification under Title II threatens our thriving Internet economy and the American jobs it creates. If we heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, this will undoubtedly restrict Internet Service Provider’s flexibility to innovate and stunt their ability to make robust investments and expand high-quality broadband service to all Americans. The end loser will be consumers. The Internet isn’t a utility, so we shouldn’t treat it as one. …

“At a time when the Internet is one of the few bright spots of the economy, driving productivity and economic growth, and offering increased speeds, lower costs, and more choices for consumers, fundamentally changing the laws to preserve this progress simply does not make sense. My hope is that the FCC will reject calls to increase its regulatory footprint over the Internet.”

Read the full speech here.


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