DC Trawler

Friendly reminder: Tomorrow, the FCC will shoot craps for control of the universe

On Dec. 21, the FCC will gamble on a rather questionable regulatory approach to ensuring that the Internet remains an alleged paradise, built with sand in the night by tireless faeries, gratis. As of right now, it’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski up against two skeptical Democrats who don’t trust his approach will pass legal muster, and also don’t think his approach goes far enough, but could be persuaded otherwise on both counts; and two Republicans who are hands-down 100-per-cent opposed to introducing regulation into a sphere of American life where heretoyore none existed.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell is one of those Republicans. Today he writes in the Wall Street Journal:

For years, proponents of so-called “net neutrality” have been calling for strong regulation of broadband “on-ramps” to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.

Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.

Not incidental or unimportant: McDowell was a likely no vote on net neutrality back in 2009, when Pres. Obama re-appointed him to a second term on the FCC!

  • r2dolivaw

    The primary mission of any bureaucracy is the increase of its own power and influence. This is another battle in the continuing war.

  • mojo

    The FCC guys must be tired of all their pesky their network feeds. Shut them down, 5 minutes after they announce.

  • TellTheTruth

    This is a serious and extreme undermining of freedom of speech…..nothing more than a power grab by the progressives….watch them begin new regulations to restrict blogs and other website whose opinion differs from their agenda! First, the FCC has no constitutional authority for this and secondly, anything like this being considered, should go through the congressional debate/vote!

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  • Barkhorn

    Mmmm…FCC regulation of the Internet. Cause, you know, the government doesn’t regulate enough.

    First they came for my soda,
    …then my Happy Meal
    …and now my porn!

    Where will it end?

    • toomuchinfo

      They can have my porn when they pry it from my dead, wet hand.

      • JLSpyder

        I am a chick that doesn’t look at porn, but that was funny!

        • toomuchinfo

          Are you free tonight?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Florian-Andrade/500740852 Florian Andrade

            EPIC WIN! 1000 internets to you sir!

      • slightlyaboveaverage

        Re: Toomuchinfo’s “dead, wet hand”:

        Never before in the recorded history of the internets and Twitter has a username so well complemented one’s own comment.
        In this instance that’s not a good thing.