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THE HILL: FCC’s overreaching power grab harms innovation, investments and jobs

By Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06) -

The Internet’s innovation and success is unmatched and since its inception, it has thrived without government interference. The Federal Communications Commission nonetheless ruled in December to impose Internet regulations, even though Congress has never authorized it to do so. There is also no crisis warranting such intervention.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has repeatedly asked the FCC to provide an economic and market analysis to demonstrate its rules are warranted and would not cause harm to the currently open and thriving Internet. The FCC’s response was lacking. Rather than show an actual problem to support its brazen power-grab, the FCC relied on speculation of future harm.

The fact is these new regulations will cause more harm than good by stifling innovation, investments, and jobs. It will harm the network core of the Internet, and therefore threaten the architecture that web providers on the edge depend on. The president has urged his administration to avoid onerous and unnecessary regulations.  Unfortunately, these rules do just the opposite.

While there is much concern regarding how they will impact business and innovation and whether these rules are even necessary, this is ultimately a question of authority. An unelected, unaccountable government bureaucracy most certainly should not impose these rules. The American people agree.

George Will put it best—most Americans believe the Internet works great and the U.S. government is broken— why on earth would we want to put the government in charge of the Internet? A recent Rasmussen poll confirmed that only 21 percent of the country supports the FCC’s rules.

This week, the House will vote on a Resolution of Disapproval that reverses the FCC’s Internet regulations. The vote is an opportunity to protect innovation and jobs while restoring Congress’ role as representatives of the people. Reversing the FCC’s regulations will end uncertainty created in the marketplace by the FCC’s overreaching power-grab.

Upton is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


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