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Net Neutrality Vote Set For Thurs.; “A Big-Gov’t Solution In Search Of A Problem”‏

November 9th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Today, the Senate is debating a resolution of disapproval being offered by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) of the FCC’s new net neutrality regulations, which, if agreed to by the Senate, would overturn those regulations. A vote on the resolution, which requires only a majority for adoption, is scheduled for noon tomorrow.

Sen. Hutchison explains the problems with the net neutrality regulations. “Unless the Senate acts on a measure under consideration this week, Internet service providers will be subject to the [FCC’s] new ‘Net neutrality’ rules. Under these mandates, broadband companies would lose control over the traffic and technology flowing through their infrastructure. Government bureaucrats would tell companies what is and is not a ‘reasonable’ way to operate their systems. These regulatory burdens would discourage Internet service providers from innovating and investing, inject uncertainty into a thriving sector of our economy, and jeopardize the information industry’s vast potential for growth. More regulation would diminish broadband providers’ expected returns on their capital. Lower returns mean less investment, which means fewer jobs created. Smaller companies would suffer the most, as they operate on thinner margins. With unemployment over 9 percent, do we really need this kind of regulatory overreach?”

They note, “The government’s primary rationale for these new rules is that broadband providers must be prevented from blocking certain online content and services. On the surface, this is an admirable goal. We, too, believe in an open Internet free of unreasonable discrimination. But market forces have and will continue to prevent such discrimination. . . . [D]espite a decade of Net neutrality advocates’ doomsday warnings that rampant discrimination is imminent, the Internet remains open. The few instances of bad behavior have been dealt with swiftly by the free market or by the FCC using the tools it already has. In short, Net neutrality is a big-government solution in search of a problem.”

“Moreover,” they warn, “this FCC power grab is unprecedented and, in our estimation, unlawful. Congress has never given the commission the authority to regulate Internet providers’ management of their networks.”

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