FCC Puts the Kibosh on Obama-era Net Neutrality Bill

fcc repeals net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission also known as the FCC passed a new bill on Thursday, called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” in a 3-2 vote. The respective bill repeals Obama-era legislation, dubbed “net neutrality regulation”. FCC’s boss told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Monday that, let me quote:

“I think what net neutrality repealed would actually mean is we once again have a free and open Internet. The government would not be regulating how anyone in the Internet service providers, how anyone else in the internet economy manages their networks.”

The new legislation will reclassify the Internet as, let me quote, an “information service”. The previous net neutrality bill from 2015 regulates the Internet as a public monopoly. The FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom will require ISPs (internet service providers) to release transparency reports regularly, thus detailing their practices towards businesses and consumers alike. The repeal of the net neutrality bill will restore FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) authority and expertise to regulate/litigate deceptive, unfair and anti competitive practices, sans dubious regulations and/or increased cost. What’s very interesting is that the FTC and the FCC agreed on Monday to share the burden (and responsibility) of policing unfair internet service provider practices with regard to deceptive/unfair methods to throttle, block or promote web content. FCC’s boss wrote in an op-ed in the WSJ, detailing how deregulation will keep the internet free and open, as it was prior to 2015:

We have proof that markets work: For almost two decades, the U.S. had a free and open internet without these heavy-handed rules. There was no market failure before 2015. Americans weren’t living in a digital dystopia before the FCC seized power. To the contrary, millions enjoyed an online economy that was the envy of the world. They experienced the most powerful platform ever seen for permission-less innovation and expression. Next month, I hope the FCC will choose to return to the common-sense policies that helped the online world transform the physical one.

Remember how in the last 2-3 years, i.e. under the net-neutrality bill, content providers such as Twitter, Google, Youtube and Facebook have literally censored the internet, stifling alternative (read conservative/right wing) voices, thus making private companies a much greater threat to free speech than internet service providers.

Keep in mind that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are pro-net neutrality and pro open borders.That tells you all you need to know.

Here’s FCC boss again:

“I love Twitter, and I use it all the time, But let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate. Two months ago, Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn from advertising her Senate campaign launch video because it featured a pro-life message. Before that, during the so-called Day of Action, Twitter warned users that a link to a statement by one company on the topic of Internet regulation ‘may be unsafe.’

This bipartisan policy worked.  Encouraged by light-touch regulation, the private sector invested over $1.5 trillion to build out fixed and mobile networks throughout the United States.  28.8k modems gave way to gigabit fiber connections.  Innovators and entrepreneurs grew startups into global giants.  America’s Internet economy became the envy of the world.

And this light-touch approach was good for consumers, too.  In a free market full of permissionless innovation, online services blossomed.  Within a generation, we’ve gone from email as the killer app to high-definition video streaming.  Entrepreneurs and innovators guided the Internet far better than the clumsy hand of government ever could have.

“Many words have been spoken during this debate but the time has come for action. It is time for the Internet once again to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers, rather than lawyers and accountants and bureaucrats.  It is time for us to act to bring faster, better, and cheaper Internet access to all Americans. It is time for us to return to the bipartisan regulatory framework under which the Internet flourished prior to 2015, it is time for us to restore Internet freedom.”

Photo: Twitter