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Press Release


Citizen Group Pounds FCC’s Ploy to Rewrite Rules, Regulate Internet Like Public Utility

For Immediate Release May 6, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

         (Alexandria, VA) — As news broke yesterday that Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would move to rewrite the successful and long-established regulatory structure of the Internet in order to regulate it under rules intended for old monopoly services like telephones, Andrew Moylan, Director of Government Affairs for the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) offered the following statement:

"Last month's U.S. Court of Appeals decision dictating that the FCC did not have the regulatory authority to impose costly Net Neutrality restrictions brought only momentary relief to taxpayers, given Chairman Genachowski's announcement yesterday that he'll pursue 'reclassifying' Internet services to bring them under the thumb of heavier Title II regulation intended for pre-World War II monopoly telephone providers.

This strategy will please the many liberal special interest groups that have spent months lobbying for it, in some cases with preposterous fairy tales about what might happen to broadband Internet services should they continue to be regulated exactly as they have been for nearly 15 years. Unfortunately for taxpayers, reclassification is a major step backward for growth and innovation, as the largely 'hands off' approach toward Internet development has been a catalyst for the amazing expansion we've witnessed in recent decades. Should this move toward Net Neutrality regulation be successful, the likely result would be less investment in the high-tech infrastructure that our economy will need for years to come.

NTU has long stated that Americans are overtaxed and overregulated already. There is simply no compelling reason that an unelected FCC should be allowed, in its zeal for more control, to potentially strangle with regulations a technology that has improved our economy, our political system, and our daily lives. It is clear that Congress must now act to prevent the FCC from performing an end-run around the current regulatory safeguards and trampling on the Internet that serves us so well."

The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU's work on telecommunications and "Net Neutrality," including past comments to the FCC, visit ntu.org or text the word "FIGHT" to 67292.