FCC’s Zero Rating Report Reveals Rogue Agency as Less Than Zero for Consumers

by Mike Wendy on January 12, 2017

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, January 12, 2017 – Yesterday, the FCC’s wireless bureau released a report, which concluded that some popular zero-rated (a.k.a. free data) wireless offerings could, maybe, perhaps somehow, harm consumers and “competition” somewhere, in some time warp, down the road. The bureau’s less-than-zero statement was nothing more than regulatory chum, designed to hit zero-raters below the belt for one final time before President Obama’s anti-consumer FCC leaves town next week.

Voters in November cast their ballots against this “sky-is-falling, everything successful broadband providers do could be downright bad for consumers” mindset. “Could be bad” government regulation stinks. It breeds arbitrary and capricious rule that shackles markets and innovation. It puts agencies and cronies – not marketplace dynamics – in control, which rarely ends well for average consumers.

Thankfully, the report – President Obama’s one last, sad deliverable to Silicon Valley – will be ignored by the next FCC. As soon-to-be majority Commissioner Ajit Pai stated yesterday, it “does not reflect the views of the majority of Commissioners,” noting further that “this latest regulatory spasm will not have any impact on the Commission’s policymaking or enforcement activities following next week’s inauguration.”

Silicon Valley’s gravy train has finally come to a halt. The subsidy has ended. Hopefully, as Commissioner Pai alluded to, the new Trump FCC will move back to truly light-touch regulation of the U.S. communications marketplace, allowing companies to serve consumers with beneficial offerings like zero-rated services instead of having to fend off market-distorting, regulatory arbitrage interposed by unelected, petty bureaucrats and crony “competition.”

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