The following statement – concerning today’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on Net Neutrality – may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of MediaFreedom.org:
Alexandria, VA, February 16, 2011 – The penumbra of Telecom Act provisions instructed the FCC to keep the Internet regulation-free. To ensure this, Congress intentionally deprived the agency of the power to fetter the medium with burdensome, telephone-era regulations. Yet, three Commissioners purposely chose to disregard the will of Congress, the courts, the marketplace and the American people, and decided instead to impose special interest regulations that will accomplish – intentionally, exactly – the opposite.
Congress is right to question the Commission’s actions that cold December night. It has a duty to protect the public interest from the three Commissioners’ petulant, and cynical, exercise in expropriating Congressional authority. Congress might also inquire into how the process got hijacked by lobbying groups Free Press, Public Knowledge, and New America Foundation. Abetted by these entrenched interests, the three Commissioners were pushed to the tipping point to afflict the Internet with the blight of deleterious regulation.
It might be that Congress decides to give the FCC new instructions on how to address the growth of the Internet. That is its right. Not the FCC’s. One hopes that the Net Neutrality hearings embarked upon by this Congress will help the rogue Commissioners remember this, as well as understand their proper role as servants of the public weal, not its master.