Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee:

“Yes, one of the great tenets of the Bill of Rights – the freedom of speech. Do you stand with me? Are you ready to resist? Are you ready to defend Net Neutrality? Are you ready to wear that banner? I am a fighter for the First Amendment. I am a fighter for freedom. Net Neutrality – that is freedom; that is the First Amendment. And, that is America. I yield back.” (Emphasis added)

I always find it interesting that when Progressives talk about free speech and the First Amendment for their cause, they never actually bring up the 45 words that comprise that First Right.

They are:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And that means, government stay out! It’s not a collective right, but the individual’s…against government action to regulate speech.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talked about this while introducing the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom NPRM in late April. There, he noted:

…[S]ome will argue that government control [via Title II] is the key to the ability to speak your mind on the Internet. Most Americans should recognize this absurdity for what it is. For government regulation is no friend to free speech, but its enemy. After all, the First Amendment doesn’t give the government power to regulate. It denies the government that power. And anyone who thinks otherwise should remember the wise words of President Gerald Ford: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Net Neutrality represents the opposite of free speech and the First Amendment. It’s three unelected government bureaucrats making law (itself a Constitutional matter) to “heal,” make more “fair and diverse,” and “protect” free speech for the “open” Internet.

No matter what Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee and her resisting Progressives say, We did not give the government the power to do this.

Net Neutrality is not the American way or Freedom – it is anything but.

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Senator Ed Markey was shoveling out the Net Neutrality bullslop in overdrive during last week’s “day of action” Hill event. According to the Senator, Net Neutrality is about protecting “small companies.”

Exclaimed Markey (from the video above):

“…And I think that this is going to be well understood by every American, and in Washington, DC, that this is an issue that, that the smaller companies, ah, care about desperately. And, and, as we know, this FCC always sides with the biggest companies at every fight, and, ultimately, that’s our job – to make sure that voices of those smaller companies are being heard…”

Interestingly, not a single “small company” was in attendance at the event.  Who was?  The usual suspects  – professional Soros activists, and the politicians who work with them.

If “ultimately” that’s their job to protect small companies, where the heck were they?

AWOL.

Of course, that was never the goal of Title II Net Neutrality.

Ultimately, the job was to protect Google (and Silicon Valley) with a government-mandated subsidy and legal barrier to competition (so long as they carry the water of Uncle Sam); create a powerful hook for the FCC to regulate and control “unfavorable” content; and to make the operation of private communications networks the exception rather than the rule.

That’s a lot of words for “small company.” Funny how Washington speaks, eh?

So much so I forgot to laugh.

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Before the
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

COMMENTS OF
MEDIAFREEDOM

MediaFreedom commends the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom NPRM, which we hope leads to the elimination of the Open Internet Order’s (“OIO”) regulatory overreach, especially as it pertains to the re-classification of ISPs as common carriers. We hope also that the resulting rules axe in their entirety, or greatly relax, the agency’s present Net Neutrality regulations on throttling, blocking and paid priority. MediaFreedom has long-argued that agency-mandated Net Neutrality rules were never needed. Not only are they inapt for today’s converged marketplace, they unconstitutionally abridge the speech and association rights of all players on the Internet. The FCC would do well to rid the Internet ecosystem of these pernicious proscriptions…

(The full text of MediaFreedom’s comments can be found on the FCC’s website here)

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Wednesday was the so-called Day of Action – a fake news event staged by professional community activists to raise awareness about the “importance” of government-regulated Net Neutrality. At one such event on Capitol Hill, Senator Al Franken addressed adoring millennials, harping on industry contentions that Title II Net Neutrality could tamp down investment and innovation.

Exclaimed Franken:

“The idea that somehow we’re not going to have innovation, and we’re not going to have investment because we have Net Neutrality is completely bogus because that has been, all the investment we’ve had, all the innovation we’ve had has been with [the] open Internet, with Net Neutrality. It’s so bogus, it’s just insulting.” (Emphasis added)

With all due respect, the Senator is wrong. He’s pulled a sleight of hand, conflating today’s “Open Internet / Net Neutrality” – which is built on heavy-handed, FDR-era government utility regulation of ISPs – with the halcyon days of Net Neutrality and growth – which saw “light touch,” mainly market-policed “regulation” instead.

The Internet’s growth is a success story alright, one that happened because of the absence of old-fashioned telephone laws, not because of them. Until Title II Net Neutrality gets changed, however, the entire ‘Net is in jeopardy because of the rule’s broad confiscatory pedigree.

Yes, companies still invest. They have to in order to serve the marketplace. In 2015, US Telecom estimates that broadband investment was approximately $76 billion. No doubt that’s a lot, but it hides a more troubling picture. Recent research shows significant drops in capex since Title II Net Neutrality became law, with one study revealing a 5.6% drop in investment (or $3.6 billion) among eight of the top 12 ISPs after 2014. Letters to the FCC show small companies are concerned, too, with 22 such ISPs jointly noting that Title II Net Neutrality has “slowed, if not halted, the development and deployment of innovative new offerings which would benefit our customers.” On top of this, many industry observers remain concerned about a number of multi-billion dollar forays into entertainment and content markets by some of the largest ISPs, seeing in them the pernicious effects of Title II Net Neutrality as these companies defensively look for better, more profitable investments instead of placing their bets in traditional, pure play infrastructure, which now are perceived to be more risky.

Quite frankly, no one ever said, as the Senator glibly posits, that investment and innovation simply ends with Title II Net Neutrality. It does not. But what the Title II Net Neutrality rule does do is introduce greater uncertainty and risk into the business models of (now heavily regulated) ISPs versus where they were before. Consequently, they reasonably believe this will lead to taking fewer risks, resulting in less investment and innovation, especially at the margins.

As one ISP’s annual report notes:

Traditionally, the FCC recognized that broadband Internet access services as “information services” subject to a “light touch” regulatory approach rather than to the traditional, utilities-style regulations. In 2015, the FCC reversed course and declared that broadband Internet access services are “telecommunications services” subject to common carriage regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. This decision created uncertainty concerning the level of regulation that will apply to broadband services. It created a risk that such regulation would limit the ways that broadband Internet access service providers structure their business arrangements and manage their networks and could spur additional restrictions, including rate regulation, that could adversely affect broadband investment and innovation. (Emphasis added)

This is how companies run – i.e., they watch and prepare for circumstances which can bring about risk and negatively affect ROI. Title II Net Neutrality is one such circumstance.

This is hardly bogus or insulting.  What is, however, is the Senator’s conflation of “light touch” Net Neutrality with heavy-handed Title II Net Neutrality. “Light touch” was the spark the spawned the Internet’s explosive growth.  Title II Net Neutrality may put that fire out.

Call the FCC, your Congressional Representative and Senators and tell them to get rid of Title II Net Neutrality. It’s bogus.

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Srinivasan-Tatel Provide ISPs with Net Neutrality “Get out of Jail Card”?

July 10, 2017

You may know that earlier in May an en banc panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected an appeal challenging the Open Internet / Net Neutrality Order, letting the Order stand for the time being. Interestingly, in that ruling, Judges Srinivasan and Tatel issued an illuminating concurring statement, revealing, in […]

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FOIA’d E-mails Show Wheeler FCC Rolled Red Carpet Out for Last “Day of Action” Organizers, Not So Much for Others

June 7, 2017

On Sept. 10, 2014, Fight for the Future (Holmes Wilson), Demand Progress (David Segal), and Google-funded activist Marvin Ammori organized a “day of action” / Internet Slowdown to show the world what life would be like without Net Neutrality. The event was also designed to generate large numbers of comments into the FCC, supporting the […]

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Media Reformer: “We Have to Take Away Certain People’s Rights to Build a Society”

June 1, 2017

This clip was shot at an FCC rally for Net Neutrality on May 18th.  It tells you all you need to know about the anti-free speech Left and its “media reform” agenda, which it hopes can be realized on the Internet via Title II Net Neutrality. Transcript: Me: I think we all agree on the […]

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Title II Net Neutrality Is an Empty, Damaged, Anti-Free Speech Brand

May 24, 2017

Last week, the FCC voted to move into the formal comment phase of its Restoring Internet Freedom proposal, which seeks to alter / overturn the previous Commission’s specious Open Internet / Title II / Net Neutrality rules imposed on ISPs. At the same time as the vote was occurring, professional protesters filled the vacant lot […]

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Statement: MediaFreedom Hails FCC’s Restore Internet Freedom NPRM

May 18, 2017

Washington, DC, May 18, 2017 – MediaFreedom hails the FCC’s new Restore Internet Freedom NPRM. We hope it leads to the elimination of the last FCC’s regulatory overreach, especially as it pertains to the re-classification of ISPs as common carriers. We hope also that the resulting rules axe in their entirety, or greatly relax, the […]

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Canada’s Zero-Rating Ban “Proved Correct” by Its Rigged Deck.

May 16, 2017

What’s an agency to do when it wants to prove – er, find out – if “consumers” are concerned about 0-rating / Net Neutrality policy? Well, if you’re like Canada’s CRTC, you get some of your proof – er, “evidenced-based facts” – from an activist group called OpenMedia, and reddit users. Though market-based parties presented […]

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