“Obama has called on federal regulators to toughen proposed net-neutrality rules for Internet traffic, including taking the controversial step of changing the way the law treats broadband providers so they are subject to stricter utility-like regulation,” Jim Puzzanghera reports for The Los Angeles Times. “‘Ever since the Internet was created, it’s been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom,’ Obama said in the video posted on the White House website. ‘There are no gatekeepers deciding which sites you get to access. There are no toll roads on the information superhighway,’ he said. ‘Abandoning these principals [sic] would threaten to end the Internet as we know it.'”

“FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Monday that he was ‘grateful’ for Obama’s input and called the president’s statement ‘an important, welcome addition’ to the agency’s deliberations. But Wheeler said the legal issues involved with crafting the rules are complex and the FCC had ‘more work to do.'”

“Net neutrality supporters welcomed Obama’s strong statement of support,” Puzzanghera reports. “But broadband providers said Obama’s proposals risked harming the Internet. And Republicans, who have fought adamantly against net neutrality rules, slammed the president for urging stronger government regulation. ”Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government,’ tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).”

“Supporters of tough net-neutrality rules want the FCC to reclassify broadband providers to make them subject to regulation similar to that of telephone companies under Title 2 of the Telecommunications Act,” Puzzanghera reports. “Wheeler has said he’s open to such a move, which is strongly opposed by Internet service providers and most Republicans. And Wheeler has said he and the president are in agreement on the need for tough net-neutrality rules, although Obama had not detailed the exact rules he would prefer.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, Obama issued some vague platitudes without giving specifics? Shocking.

“On Monday, Obama was clear that he wanted the FCC to reclassify broadband providers, even though he does not have the power to force them to do so,” Puzzanghera reports. “Cable companies and other broadband service providers have opposed tougher regulation, saying it’s unnecessary and could stifle investment and innovation.”

MacDailyNews Take: Make no mistake: We don’t oppose the sentiment in Obama’s video and statements, specifically that the Internet retain “basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom.”

We oppose the imperious emptiness of it.

Not to mention its inherent illogicality: How, exactly, does the Internet remain “open, fair, and free” with the U.S. FCC regulating it?

“Verizon supports the open Internet, and we continue to believe that the light-touch regulatory approach in place for the past two decades has been central to the Internet’s success,” Verizon Communications Inc. said in a statement Monday,” Puzzanghera reports. “‘Reclassification under Title 2, which for the first time would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet, would be a radical reversal of course that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation,’ the company said. ‘That course will likely also face strong legal challenges and would likely not stand up in court,’ Verizon said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This genie is already long out of the bottle. There is no such thing as pure “net neutrality” as proponents imagine it. What is “Net Neutrality,” exactly? Don’t bother – there are a million different definitions. You back “Net Neutrality?” Great. Do you back the Easter Bunny, too?

Beware: Government meddling often produces unintended consequences and those advocating the strongest for government control have often war-gamed said consequences and likely stand to benefit from one or more of the potential outcomes.

This is a case of putting the cart before the horse. Let the market go where it goes and keep a close eye on it. If and when there is actual cause for increased regulation, then move deliberately but with a consensus and, above all, extreme caution lest there be unintended consequences which could actually end up retarding progress rather than fostering it.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. — Bert Lance

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