NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S.J. Res 52, which would use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
When the Telecommunications Act was signed into law in 1996, it established a light-touch regulatory approach to the internet that enabled it to develop and flourish. Because of this regime, the internet has connected billions of people, expanded commerce, and ushered in a technological innovation revolution that continues to transform our world.
Yet in 2015, the FCC under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler upended this progress by voting to classify broadband as a Title II “telecommunications service,” subjecting the internet to burdensome Great Depression-era regulations which were designed for monopoly telephone service. The Title II regulatory regime discouraged growth and investment from internet providers, which hurt consumers through higher prices and reduced services. Economic studies indicate 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, under the direction of Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC returned to the light-touch regulatory approach that had been in place for two decades under the leadership of both political parties. Removing those constraints will foster greater infrastructure improvements to connect more Americans to broadband or internet, especially for consumers in rural areas. An internet free from outdated government regulations is good for American taxpayers, consumers, and the businesses that invest in the high-speed fixed and mobile broadband networks that power the U.S. economy. Rather than overturn these changes, Congress should work on a solution that strengthens these rules to meet technology challenges of the 21st century.
Roll call votes on S.J. Res 52 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact Policy and Government Affairs Associate Thomas Aiello at (703) 683-5700