I am opposed to today’s vote by the FCC to classify the internet as a public utility. The Internet should remain free of intrusive government regulation so that rapid innovation and commerce can continue to flourish. The FCC chairman was asked to appear before the House of Representatives to discuss and answer questions about these new regulations, but he failed to do so. Americans deserve transparency and accountability from the government officials the administration are entrusting to enforce these important regulations.–Rep. Tom Reed
Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to regulate the Internet like a utility:
“The FCC has just taken the internet—arguably the most dynamic contributor to a growing economy and higher quality of life in the world—back in time to the era of landlines. Today’s vote by the commission to regulate the Internet as if it were Pac Bell is discouraging and risks the freedom of a system that puts instant information and communication at millions of fingertips.
“While the proposal of this regulation is disappointing, the refusal of FCC Chairman Wheeler to testify in front of Congress and share the proposal with the public ahead of the vote is a stunning rebuke to government transparency. The FCC was created as an agency independent from the political influence of the White House. But the recent timeline of actions by the Chairman suggests that separation has been blurred. The American people deserve that important regulatory decisions are open to thorough scrutiny.
“The committees of jurisdiction will continue to aggressively investigate this issue and conduct extensive oversight. We will also review legislative options where appropriate. The Internet is too important to the everyday lives of Americans for such government overreach.”
The article cited by McCarthy notes:
The (rule) changes would allow the commission to regulate the Internet like a public utility, setting new standards that require the provision of equal access to all online content.
“Equal access to all online content” isn’t unfair, intrusive regulation.
Here is more that Rep. McCarthy didn’t mention:
- The purpose of the FCC is to regulate communications: telephone, radio, TV, and the like.
- Regulation heads off plans to provide fast internet service for some and slower service for most.
- Regulation insures fair service for all users.
- The FCC was created as an agency independent from the political influence of Congress as well as the Executive Branch.
- The Administration did not overreach: as McCarthy noted, the FCC is independent.
- Congress would certainly overreach if it would interfere with the FCC as McCarthy threatens.
McCarthy, like Tom Reed, views Obama Administration actions as overreach, yet he would have had Congress grill the head of an independent agency, the FCC, just prior to a vote.
© William Hungerford – March 2015