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House Republican tries to quash potential Title II regulation of ISPs

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu May 29, 2014

Proposed legislation would prohibit 'regulatory baggage' of Title II

Yesterday, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced legislation to limit the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The proposed legislation comes after the FCC released a proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II as a telecommunications service rather than an information service if Internet Service Providers abuse permissions that the FCC may give to providers.

The possibility of Title II regulation is being held over the ISPs by FCC Chairman Wheeler. Wheeler is suggesting an independent ombudsman as part of Title II regulation to look into the ISPs should they act against the best interest of the public in all aspects of business, including implementation of the fast lane concept. Latta's proposal would strip the FCC of the ability to enforce Title II regulation on ISPs, and take most of the teeth out of FCC's ability to regulate ISP behavior, which does not generally rank high in customer satisfaction.

Latta in a statement about the legislation says that "at a time when the Internet economy is thriving and driving robust productivity and economic growth, it is reckless to suggest, let alone adopt, policies that threaten its success. Reclassification would heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, restricting their flexibility to innovate and placing them at the mercy of a government agency."

Lobbyist group for the Cable industry, The National Cable and Telecommunications Association agrees with the tenets of the bill, saying in its statement that it will "ensure that the Internet continues to grow and remains open and free from the burdens of outdated, public utility regulation." The NCTA believes that the status quo of "lightly regulating the Internet" has led to broadband providers investing more than $1.2 trillion in networks since the '90s.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. sunman42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-09-11

    Nice to know the party of 'Publicans and Sinners is always on the lookout for their friends (and campaign contributors), the AT&Ts and Verizons of the World.

  1. aardman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-18-09

    Here comes the hired Republican gun bought and paid for by the broadband industry. So predictable.

  1. coitus

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-17-00

    Meanwhile, of developed countries the US ranks 15 out of 16 (only beating the Philippines) on broadband performance. The only innovation the industry cares about is innovative ways to maximize their bottom line while screwing consumers. I will be writing a letter to Congressman Latta to express my deepest displeasure.


  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Weeeeee! Free enterprise. 15th, you say? Well clearly it could have been worse. :(

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    "Lobbyist group for the Cable industry, The National Cable and Telecommunications Association agrees with the tenets of the bill..."

    Ahh, well, then it must be a fantastic idea, because the cable industry has done such a fantastic job of keeping consumers' and the public's best interests at heart. I mean, when I see "cable industry lobby approved", that just screams "great idea for me as a customer!"

  1. chimaera

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 04-08-07

    "at a time when the Internet economy is thriving and driving robust productivity and economic growth"

    Translation from Washingtonese: "at a time when telecoms are thriving and driving robust billing and revenue growth"

    I have to agree. In Washington, like most places, you get what you pay for. And the telecoms pay very well.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    See ... if you have enough money, you can introduce your own Bill in the house and senate .... well, that wasn't so hard, was it? And if you spend a bit more, you can even buy the votes for the said bill. It's a swell political system. You can introduce and pass a bill, by just writing a few [fat] cheques !!!!

  1. drbroom

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-28-06

    Maybe it's time we really do throw the bums out... Maybe it's time we demand money OUT of political campaigns... Maybe it's time we demand a government of the people, by the people, for the people...

    Oh wait we live in the United Sates... government of the corp, by the corp, for the corp.

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