Complete Story


A CRA and the Ghouls of the Senate

For two decades the internet hummed along, creating new opportunities for people, business, and ideas. For all that time, under both Democrat and Republican control, the FCC, following the clear lead of Congress as laid out in the 1996 Communications Act, pursued a light regulatory touch while staying out of the way of progress, innovation and invention. But, unfortunately in 2015, the FCC in the thrall of activists, abruptly changed course acted strictly along party lines and without citing any harm or unsolved challenges, placed the internet under heavy handed government control that went far beyond the principles of net neutrality and imposed the “Open Internet Order.”

This move “reclassified” broadband traffic as a Title II telecommunications service, meaning that broadband providers of all sorts would have to manage their systems, and be beholden, to government technology restrictions literally more than 70 years old. Those rules were created to regulate rotary dial telephones provided by a monopoly. Rarely has a better example of government hyper micro-management of an imagined potential future concern been conceived. Of course, the rules were never about solving a problem, fixing a broken process or protecting consumers. In fact, they placed consumers at risk as the new rules eliminated proven privacy protections for consumers. Instead the heavy-handed regulations were merely about placing one of the most innovative, vibrant sectors of the U.S. economy into the unrelenting grip of government control. Investment plummeted, consumers lost out on new innovations and privacy was placed at greater risk.

Thankfully, in 2017, the FCC moved to strike this approach, restoring the historical free and open internet. Restoring an internet to once again include a light regulatory touch while staying out of the way of progress, innovation and invention.

But now Senate Democrats want to return to those days of ill-conceived heavy-handed control and are willing to take advantage of the severely ill Senator McCain to get their way. Tomorrow, Senator Markey will begin the process of forcing a vote to overturn the light touch FCC rules using the Congressional Review Act. The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to reverse a recently passed federal regulation and, if successful, the CRA vote blocks any future consideration of the rule so that agencies do not just pass the same rule again batting it back to Congress.

Click here to read the entire story.


Printer-Friendly Version