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.