Here in the United States, Net Neutrality exponentially increases the government’s ability to tax the Internet. Starting with the 17.4% Universal Service Fund (USF) tax. Which goes up automatically every calendar quarter. And goes up each and every time three unelected Federal Communications Commission (FCC) bureaucrats decide they want more of our coin. Which they just did in December –with a 17.1% rate increase.
The collateral damage is beginning to pile up from the FCC’s February decision to trigger Title II telephone utility regulation of the Internet. Long called the “nuclear” option, the FCC preemptively triggered Title II Internet regulation ostensibly to prevent potential new net neutrality problems, which the FCC admits it can’t yet identify.
In this episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Budget & Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway is joined by former Deputy United States Coordinator for Communications and Information Policy Scott Cleland.
The FCC’s Open Internet Order, which reclassified the commercial Internet as a Title II utility, is very likely (80%) in the end, to be overturned in court – for a third time.
The FCC’s legal theory and many core assumptions are so aggressive, it’s clear that the FCC expects, and needs, continual and maximal deference from the court to prevail. The FCC also requires the courts to view the FCC’s most aggressive assertion of unbounded authority ever, as a mere administrative interpretation of ambiguous law, and not a political bypass of Congress and the 1996 Telecom Act.
It is human nature to take for granted the status quo. It is dangerous to think government attempts to “improve” the status quo will do anything of the sort. The Internet is not broken. There is no problem for the FCC to fix.
Will this FCC legal team learn from the legal mistakes of their predecessors and ensure the FCC has a thorough and a sufficient legal record to justify their legal theories, given that the FCC already has failed twice in crafting legal net neutrality regulations in Comcast v. FCC in 2010 and again in Verizon v. FCC in 2014?
As we’ve often discussed, the Tech World Media is just as hopelessly Leftist and lost as the broader Jurassic Press. They so often get it so very wrong – often because their absurd political perspective warps their alleged “reporting.”
I was gratified by the excellent attendance at the Free State Foundation’s program last Friday titled, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the ‘Utility Model’ on Internet Providers.” If you weren’t there, you missed what was a very important event – one that, in light of the substantive discussions that occurred, likely will play an important role going forward in the debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s consideration of the imposition of new net neutrality mandates.
Unless you only get your news via the Jurassic Press – or you are a government school victim who as a result doesn’t pay attention to anything at all – you are now intimately familiar with the on-camera stylings of Jonathan Gruber.
On September 25, the Mercatus Center, a research and outreach organization that promotes market-oriented solutions from George Mason University, did a presentation on net neutrality. The speaker, research fellow in the technology policy program Brent Skorup, gave a wide overview of the net neutrality subject. Skorup discussed, among other things, how the Internet works, the working definition of net neutrality, exceptions to the rule, and the options the FCC is exploring.
Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. Over the last decade, the FCC has alleged only a few potential net neutrality problems, and in each of these few cases, the FCC was able to satisfactorily resolve them without Title II authority.
A little-noticed article in the Wall Street Journal over Labor Day Weekend concerning the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger caught my eye, not only because the article obviously concerns an important matter of communications policy, but also because it raises questions regarding a matter of proper administrative agency process.
Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee,wrote the FCC to propose that the FCC, in its pending Open Internet order remand, “reclassif[y] broadband providers as telecommunications services and then using the modern [Title I] authority of section 706 to set bright-line rules to prevent blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.”
The FTC implicitly laid down an important jurisdictional, political, and public marker against FCC reclassification of broadband as a utility, in its recent FCC filing in the FCC’s Section 706 inquiry proceeding.
There are two core reasons the FCC should not try to preempt State muni-broadband laws.
1. The Supreme Court has already indicated it would be unconstitutional.
2. It would be anti-competitive, the opposite of the FCC’s statutory purpose and legal mandate.