Regulatory Reform

FCC opposes ALEC Proposal and Hurts the Broadband Economy and Consumers

Yesterday in a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) weakened the U.S. economy, reduced our quality of life and slowed the advance of broadband –a shocking vote blatantly opposing market competition and innovation. The FCC has moved a never-released-to-the-public plan that will impose heavy handed Title II authority over legacy telephone networks on the Internet and will now regulate the provision of broadband Internet access services as common carrier services. The massive regulations are fundamentally opposite from ALEC members’ hopes as recently expressed in an approved resolution:

ALEC members have long recognized that the broadband information services sector is critical to growing the nation’s economy, enhancing citizens’ quality of life through new and innovative applications and enabling greater job creation. In fact, the rise of private investment in broadband technologies has dramatically transformed the way consumers work, live, learn and conduct their daily lives.

ALEC members have affirmed that innovation, private investment and market competition, not additional regulations, should drive the continued deployment and adoption of broadband information services. The traditional light-touch regulation at the FCC where the Internet was concerned was an approach that has helped support nearly 11 million jobs annually in the U.S. and has unleashed more than $1.2 trillion dollars of investment in advanced wire line and wireless broadband networks, as well as an entirely new apps economy.

Now, having voted to treat broadband Internet access services as Title II “telecommunications services,” investments will be substantially inhibited for continued broadband investment and innovation. Government will now be permitted to micromanage all aspects of the Internet economy.

ALEC members’ opposition to the sweeping reclassification of broadband services should have been heeded, avoiding the unnecessary, burdensome and economically harmful regulation of broadband Internet service companies, including the providers of the infrastructure that supports and enables Internet services.

The FCC, Congress and state regulatory and legislative bodies should refocus their efforts on specific and limited initiatives targeted at enabling broadband providers whose objective is to expand broadband access to unserved households and businesses, rejecting overly prescriptive regulations that harm innovation, investment and job growth.

While the proposal has been and continues to be kept secret, soon the closeted regulatory language action will finally be published, so we will all be able to understand the full depth and breadth of the harm done.

In Depth: Regulatory Reform

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that “the sum of good government” was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry.” Sadly, governments – both federal and state – have ignored this axiom and…

+ Regulatory Reform In Depth