Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Do NOT Preserve Status Quo

October 14, 2009

If WSJ reports are correct about the FCC’s new proposed net neutrality rules, they are not at all about “preserving” the status quo, but actually would represent a radical change from longstanding law, policy and precedent.

  • Per the WSJ: “Under Mr. Genachowski’s proposal, the FCC would change its current net-neutrality guidance, which details consumers’ online rights, and focus instead on what Internet service providers are not allowed to do.”

If this description is true, the proposed regulations would not be status quo at all because they would:

  • Flip from being all about what consumers can do, do being all about what ISPs cannot do;
  • Abandon over fifteen years of bipartisan consensus in Congress around not regulating or taxing the Internet;
  • Abandon five years of bipartisan consensus and 5-0 FCC precedents to treat Internet access as an un-rregulated information service; and
  • Reverse longstanding law, policy and precedent to promote competition and reduce regulation with a new policy that promotes regulation and reduces competition.

If the FCC’s rules emerge as reported, this is not at all about “preserving” anything, its about radically changing an Internet ecosystem that currently works and serves consumers exceptionally well.
 

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