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House Republicans bash FCC over 'antiquated regulation' of Internet

updated 06:35 pm EDT, Wed May 14, 2014

GOP leaders warn that FCC proposal could harm internet economy, innovation

Four Republicans in the United States House of Representatives including Speaker John Boehner sent a letter today to Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler asking that he halt his plan on regulation of the Internet. Government leaders think the plan will be a detriment to the economy and innovation that currently thrives.

Noting that the proposed regulation would be "counterproductive" and "antiquated," members of the House including Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) join the to Speaker ask that Wheeler put an end to the idea of regulating broadband under Title II. Noting that reclassifying broadband is a threat to progress, anything other than minimal regulation of the internet wouldn't be acceptable.

The letter echos sentiment from a previous letter issued to the FCC from the heads of telecommunication corporations earlier this week. The Representatives draw attention to the private sector investments into broadband infrastructure of $13 billion dollars in 2013. Through these investments 95 percent of households have been able to have access to the internet, an American invention the letter points out.

"Despite these successes, efforts to regulate the internet as a utility under Title II are threatening to set back this progress and impose on broadband rules designed for the older fashioned, monopoly-era phone services," says the letter. Further efforts would "contradict a decade of FCC decisions under Democratic and Republican administrations and limit the freedom to innovate and create that has characterized the internet since its inception."

The signers of the letter ask the FCC to step back from their agenda that poses a threat to job creation and economic recovery. "The commission should be focused on unleashing the full job-creating potential of the private sector, including the internet, rather than stifling such growth through expansions of federal power."

The full text of the letter is available at the website of the Speaker of the House.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Of course republicans are against regulation. It lets their corporate buddies do whatever they want to do. They could care less what if does to the little user.

  1. chimaera

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 04-08-07

    I've noticed the political interventions against net neutrality focus on the freedom and innovation of the big ISPs. They express no concern for the freedom of customers. Shall we extend the "ability to innovate" to power companies too? They could vary the voltage delivered to houses (always downwards), unless customers pay for guaranteed voltage. Water companies can innovate too, and never mind the color of the improved water.

    ISPs should not be innovating. The changes they wish to make are always against their customers. Connect us to the internet, and charge based on the size of the pipe. Otherwise stay out of our hair. This isn't that hard.

  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-11-05

    chimaera...well stated. Where is the political force to protect the consumer...this is, like it or not, what government regulation does! No 'chief' officer cares about customers as much as they care about boards of directors stipulating their annual compensation package. Period. Prove to me that capitalistic USA cares about the customer...enter government.

  1. nouser

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-29-12

    Really you want the last bastion of freedom, the Internet, run by some old suits at the FCC. Just look at all the successful things our government meddles with. There is the USPS (Billions in debt and service about to decline), Health Care (Billions in debt and service in decline), Social Security (Billions in debt and service about to decline), Medicare (Billions in debt and service in decline), Face it, our government could F up a soup sandwich. Our government ALWAYS makes our services more costly. Want $1,000 hammers and $10,000 toilet seats, ask our government.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    You might be surprised to know that the USPS actually turns a pretty hefty profit (all without taking as much as a dime in taxpayer money in most cases, either!). The only reason the books show a net loss is because once upon a time( 2006), the USPS was forced to fund all retirement benefits for decades into the future, even for employees that won't retire for another 30 or 40+ years.

    Imagine if the company you worked at today suddently was presented with a mandate that said that they have to put away cold, hard cash into an account for 100% of the retirement benefits for every, single employee in the company (and they had to do that within 10 years). That would make most *any* business' books look like they're bleeding money hand-over-fist, even if they actually *made* money that year.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-31-07

    A basic study of economic history throughout the world is all that's needed. If you think the problem is bad, wait till you see the government solution. It always starts with trying to fix a problem and then then when things are worse with the regulations, the blame is either misplaced or the longterm effects are too distant to connect it to the regulations by the public and then only realized maybe after a generation in the best case.

  1. NapMan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-12-07


    I saw a story just the other day that said the USPS is $100 billion in debt right now. $100 BILLION!!

  1. NapMan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-12-07


    Do you understand what this regulation means? This plan could end net neutrality. The big corporations, with all the money, would be given preferential access to users. The smaller companies would lose out.

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