Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, today reintroduced bipartisan legislation to ensure the Internet remains open and free from government interference by limiting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC has stated it plans to reclassify broadband Internet access as a public utility under Title II rather than an information service.
“The FCC’s plans to reclassify broadband under Title II are misguided,” said Latta. “Imposing monopoly-era telephone rules on a 21st Century industry that has thrived under the current light-touch regulatory framework will undoubtedly impede the economic growth and innovation that have resulted in the broadband marketplace absent government interference. These businesses thrive on dynamism and the ability to evolve quickly to shifting market and consumer forces. Subjecting them to bureaucratic red tape won’t promote innovation, consumer welfare or the economy. My legislation provides the certainty needed for continued investment in broadband networks and services that have been fundamental for job creation, productivity and consumer choice.”
Experts, including the Progressive Policy Institute, have stated that the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet under Title II would be disastrous for the Internet and our economy. Reclassification could add another $15 billion in user fees and taxes for consumers on top of the $1.5 billion already planned to fund the E-Rate program. In addition, it would discourage ISPs from investing in broadband infrastructure — leading to more congestion and higher access prices.
A copy of Congressman Latta’s legislation can be found here.