Author Topic: FCC "Stop the Internet" Plan being exposed as giving power to Bilderberg  (Read 4945 times)

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FCC Broadband Plan Prompts GOP, Industry Backlash,2817,2365302,00.asp
By: Chloe Albanesius
06.18.2010 2 comments

Thursday's broadband proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission has prompted another congressional challenge.

Shortly after the commission announced a public comment period on its "third way" to regulate broadband, Rep. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, said he would soon introduce a bill that would reform the FCC and guard against unnecessary taxation and regulation of the Internet and other media services.

DeMint's "Consumer Choice Act" is based on a bill he introduced in 2005, which would "reform the FCC into a market-based, antitrust-style framework, using an 'unfair competition' standard" similar to the model at the Federal Trade Commission. It would also require timelines for FCC regulatory decisions and put a five-year expiration date on any regulations, unless the FCC chooses to renew them.

DeMint accused the FCC taking the "first step of an Internet takeover and tax that will harm consumers."

The FCC voted Thursday to open a public comment period on the commission's role in broadband regulation.

The "third way" plan, proposed by Chairman Julius Genachowski in early May, would narrowly reclassify the transmission of data as a telecommunications service that the agency could directly regulate, balanced by a hands-off approach to other aspects.

The move came after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in April that the FCC had no right to hand down a 2008 enforcement action against Comcast for the alleged blocking of peer-to-peer sites like BitTorrent.

The FCC argued that the Communications Act of 1934 provided the agency with ancillary authority to regulate broadband services; the court disagreed. In an effort to more clearly define the FCC's authority when it comes to broadband, Genachowski proposed this "third way" approach, which would re-classify broadband as a telecommunications service instead of an information service. The agency has asked for input on all approaches, not just its "third way."

On Friday, the House and Senate Energy and Commerce Committees announced that they would hold a series of staff-led stakeholder sessions about communications policies. The first of those meetings will be held on June 25 and will address broadband regulation and FCC authority. Subsequent meetings will touch on spectrum policy as well as broadband adoption and deployment.

DeMint, meanwhile, is not the first member of Congress to react to the FCC's broadband plans with legislation.

In the wake of the FCC's net neutrality proceeding, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, introduced a bill that would prohibit the FCC from enacting rules that would regulate the Internet. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee also introduced the Real Stimulus Act of 2009, which would prohibit the FCC from "needlessly imposing regulations on the Internet."

Neither bill made it out of committee.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, also added an amendment to an Interior Appropriations bill in October that would ban the FCC from spending money to craft and implement regulatory changes. She reportedly backed off those plans, however, after Genachowski reached out, according to the Washington Post.

After the FCC's Thursday vote, Hutchison said in a statement that "the FCC has taken the step forward to create new burdensome regulations that threaten to stifle the growth of America's broadband services" and urged Congress to "move forward on a new path that preserves the openness of the Internet as a platform for innovation and economic growth without expanding the government's regulatory footprint."

More reaction to the FCC's plan from ISPs, meanwhile, trickled in after the vote.

David L. Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast, said he was pleased that the FCC's request for comment considers all options and seems to be narrowly tailored.

"While we remain concerned about unjustified regulation, we are encouraged that the careful balancing the chairman promised in his public statements since first announcing a 'Third Way' has led to a rational next step as all stakeholders continue to work together to keep the Internet ecosystem growing and open," Cohen said.

Verizon, however, did not mince words.

"Reclassifying high-speed broadband Internet service as a telecom service is a terrible idea," Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, said in a statement. "The negative consequences for online users and the Internet ecosystem would be severe and have ramifications for decades. It is difficult to understand why the FCC continues to consider this option."

Tauke urged the FCC to let Congress handle the issue, as did AT&T.

Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, said the vote is "troubling and … unsettling."

"It will create investment uncertainty at a time when certainty is most needed. It will no doubt damage jobs in a period of far-too-high unemployment," Cicconi said. "It will also undermine the FCC's own goals for the National Broadband Plan. A better and more proper approach is for the FCC to defer the question of its legal authority to the US Congress."

Industry associations like the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and CTIA, which represents the wireless industry, also expressed concern.

"We see little benefit to changing course and great danger in attempting to shoehorn modern broadband services into a Depression-era regulatory regime without serious collateral effects to investment, employment, and innovation," said NCTA president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow.

"Despite the fact the FCC has heard from more than half of the elected officials in Congress that this approach is wrong, the Commission has chosen to ignore this diverse and bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives from around the country," CTIA president and CEO Steve Largent said. "Instead, the commission's action is a dangerous solution in search of a non-existent problem."

The plan won support from consumer groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge, which filed the initial complaint against Comcast. Christopher Libertelli, Skype's senior director of government and regulatory affairs, also issued support for "quick action by the FCC."

"Moving forward with a solid legal foundation is critical to promoting investment and consumer choice throughout the Internet ecosystem," he said.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately


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