The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary.
FCC’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ Move Imposes 1930s Rules on the Internet
The Federal Communications Commission approved an order urged by President Obama that imposes rules on broadband Internet services that were written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph. The following statement should be attributed to Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president, public policy and government affairs:
“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors. Over the past two decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age consumers now enjoy.
“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis, full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history will judge today’s actions as misguided.
“The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary. The FCC had targeted tools available to preserve an open Internet, but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300- plus pages of broad and open- ended regulatory arcana that will have unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the Internet ecosystem for years to come.
“What has been and will remain constant before, during and after the existence of any regulations is Verizon’s commitment to an open Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and Internet access when, where, and how they want.”
Many telecoms have acted poorly, but there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for 332 pages of new regulations that nobody was allowed to review before they were voted on. The FCC is not an imperial body, unaccountable to congress or anyone else – although clearly Wheeler thinks he is by snubbing a request to appear before Congress. This cloak-and-dagger approach is absurd, and if the entire Title 2 scheme falls (which it should), it will be in part because of the way Wheeler and the FCC acted – essentially as a mouthpiece of the Obama Administration – in regards to the process.
Wake up, people. The scope of what the FCC has now asserted they are authorized to control is far beyond what was intended when the agency was created. This has become true of far too many commissions, agencies and departments in the Federal government. I recommend “Is Administrative Law Unlawful” by Philip Hamburger. We have become so used to the massive scale of the federal government (particularly the power now concentrated under the executive branch departments and agencies), we barely realize that what we live with today wouldn’t be tolerated by any reasonable standard of limited, enumerated powers, judicial restraint and the concept of co-equal branches of government even 50 or 60 years ago, much less 100 or 200+ years ago.