The following statement – for today’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee Hearing on the FCC’s Internet Rules – may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of MediaFreedom.org:
Alexandria, VA, March 9, 2011 – Today’s hearing to discuss the FCC’s new Net Neutrality regulations is good for America to hear. The controversial regulations have come under intense scrutiny for good reason. Well, many, that is:
1. The FCC lacks express Congressional authority to regulate the Internet, as envisaged by the new regulations.
2. Statements by the crafters of the regulations suggest that the rules are merely a baseline from which to accrete more regulatory heft, which will ultimately hobble private investment and innovation that underlies the Internet’s growth and vibrance.
3. The market works, and the harms that the FCC has rested its assumptions upon do not exist in fact; nor are they likely to occur with the advance of technology, transparency tools, industry best practices, and marketplace discipline.
4. Net Neutrality exists de facto, and remains a far more flexible tool to serve the public interest than the politically motivated actions of the FCC, as exemplified by the Commission’s wanton act on December 21st.
It is Congress’ prerogative and right to express its disapproval when the agencies it oversees go rogue. To suggest that the opposite is acceptable – that is, that the FCC, abetted by well-healed “consumer” lobbyists, can whip up an imagined threat, self-create “authority,” and then use that and other regulatory leverage to strong-arm agreement from its captured supplicants – is repugnant to Democracy.
Government by consent decree, which is essentially what the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations represent, is a betrayal of the public interest.