NTU urges all Representatives to vote “NO” on H.R. 1644, the “Save the Internet Act of 2019.” This misguided proposal would once again put bureaucrats in control of the internet by reimposing harmful rules on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), thereby raising costs and limiting accessibility for millions of consumers.
Prior to 2015, regulators employed a light-touch approach that enabled the internet to develop, flourish and connect billions of consumers around the world. However in 2015, the Obama administration tossed this long-standing playbook aside and subjected ISPs to the same regulatory standards used to regulate telephone monopolies way back in the 1930’s. As a result of heavy-handed and burdensome regulations, broadband investment, expansion, and innovation all slowed to a crawl, which caused higher costs for consumers. In fact, an economic study conducted by the New York Law School indicated that continuing to regulate the internet under Title II would cost up to 700,000 jobs and lower U.S. GDP by $80 billion over the next decade.
Thankfully, to the benefit of taxpayers and consumers, last year the FCC passed the Restoring Internet Freedom Order to overturn the Obama-era net neutrality rules. Opponents of the Order immediately claimed it would be the end of the internet as we know it, but in reality the internet is stronger than ever. Key metrics like investment and connectivity are again increasing and average download speeds are up more than 35 percent over the previous year. Undoing these outdated rules is a shining example of what happens when big government gets out of the business of overregulating.
Unfortunately, H.R. 1644 is an unreasonable solution that would simply turn back the clock on these positive developments by reimposing Title II regulations. A bipartisan approach to internet regulation is certainly possible this Congress and should be a priority for lawmakers. However, handing bureaucrats the keys to the internet, as H.R. 1644 proposes to do, is the wrong approach and should be rejected.
Roll call votes on H.R. 1644 will be significantly weighted in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact Thomas Aiello, Policy and Government Affairs Associate, at (703) 683-5700