Commentary

FCC to Reverse Obama-Era Regulations, Restore Internet Freedom

By Phil Kerpen | May 22, 2017 | 12:16pm EDT
Then FCC Chairman Genachowski swears in Ajit Pai as a new Commissioner at the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

On Thursday, the FCC voted 2-1 on party lines to begin accepting public comment on a proposal to reverse the 2015 Obama administration order reducing the Internet to a regulated public utility and returning to the previous light-touch policy.

“We commend Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Mike O’Rielly for standing up to an onslaught of misinformation, smears, and attacks from the radical left – including physical intimidation of the chairman’s home and family,” said American Commitment president Phil Kerpen.

“The Obama administration directed Tom Wheeler to adopt a plan to regulate the Internet under Title II that empowers federal bureaucrats to overrule consumers and deny them choices of products, services, and applications,” Kerpen said.  “The order is already undermining investment, and if a Democrat had won the presidential election we would already be seeing popular services banned.  The American people chose a different path, a president and in turn, an FCC chairman, committed to deregulation, free markets, and empowering individual Americans.”

The clearest statement of what’s at stake comes from the founder of the principal liberal advocacy group that supports the Obama/Wheeler regulations, from an interview he gave several years ago with a Canadian socialist website called The Bullet.

“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet,” Free Press founder and current board member Robert McChesney said. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

“Today’s vote at the FCC is a key step back from Free Press’s goal of a government-controlled Internet,” Phil Kerpen said.  “The FCC should consider it confirmation that they are doing the right thing for economic freedom that Free Press and its fellow travelers were yelling and screaming outside the FCC as today’s vote was taking place.”

Phil Kerpen is head of American Commitment and a leading free-market policy analyst and advocate in Washington. Kerpen was the principal policy and legislative strategist at Americans for Prosperity for over five years.

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