Senate Republicans move to block FCC’s proposed ‘net neutrality’ rules

“Senate Republicans moved Monday afternoon to prevent the FCC’s proposed rules on net neutrality with an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would tie up funding at the agency for new regulatory mandates. Observers said, however, that the move was unlikely to be approved in the Democrat-majority Congress,” Cecilia Kang reports for The Washington Post.

Kang reports, “Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), ranking member of Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said in a release: ‘We must tread lightly when it comes to new regulations. Where there have been a handful of questionable actions in the past on the part of a few companies, the Commission and the marketplace have responded swiftly. The case has simply not been made for what amounts to a significant regulatory intervention into a vibrant marketplace. These new regulatory mandates and restrictions could stifle investment incentives,’ she said.”

“Senators John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), David Vitter (R-La.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D. co-sponsored the amendment,” Kang reports. “The two Republican commissioners at the five-member FCC issued a joint statement in response to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement, expressed concern that conclusions have been prematurely drawn about how consumers and businesses are being affected by Web policies. ‘We are concerned that both factual and legal conclusions may have been drawn before the process has begun,’ said Commissioners Robert McDowell and Merideth Baker. ‘We do not believe that the Commission should adopt regulations based merely on anecdotes, or in an effort to alleviate the political pressures of the day, if the facts do not clearly demonstrate that a problem needs to be remedied.'”

Kang reports, “Some wireless providers have balked at the proposal, with AT&T saying it does not agree that the rules should apply to its giant national wireless network because of capacity constraints. Genachowski said in his speech that the rules would apply to all platforms – which would include wireless – but that such questions would be part of a process that will begin late October to come up with new rules. If approved, final rules could be drawn next spring.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we said back in August 2006: “We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.”

That we have the same Take over three years later should be telling. Government regulations are not a panacea, neither are the lack thereof. It’s all about striking a proper balance where innovation can thrive while abuses are prevented.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iWill” for the heads up.]

147 Comments

  1. Though I’m by no means politically ignorant, I to this day honestly cannot understand the conservative phobia regarding the government. Seriously.

    It would be a different story if the US government got to be as it were through some sort of military coup, but our government is a representative democracy; i.e. WE are the government. Our government is only as good as the people who put it there. Our politicians aren’t appointed; WE put them there. When they don’t do what WE like or is in our best interest, it’s up to US to get them out of office. Whether some of US like it or not, WE (at least the majority of US) voted for the current POTUS, just like WE voted for the guy before him – twice. I’m all for political debate and disagreement, but if you honestly don’t like the current situation, use your voice and your vote at the next election. However, if “your side” loses the debate, don’t whine like a fourth-grade girl who lost her Barbie doll. MAN UP and do something constructive!!

    As to the issue of net neutrality: I’m all for some form of government regs, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of commerce or stifles competition.

  2. AdmiralX,

    Typical post-1984 Dem/Lib. Inventing “problems” that legislation needs to “solve.”

    MDN isn’t required to pay an access tax. They didn’t have to three years ago. They don’t have to today. And they likely never will (unless gov’t mucks things up enough).

    Liberalism used to mean a much different thing. When did Libs come to love gov’t so much?

    The Democrats have become the party of inventing “problems,” so they can come up with legislation to “solve” said fantasies in ways that benefit themselves and their constituents.

  3. gzero,

    You obviously need to take a closer look at the people “we’ve” put in government.

    Start with the speaker of the house, ie. crazy nancy.

    Total inaction beats the bullshit these fools concoct every time.

  4. Majority of voters, not of the US.

    ‘your side’? Loses what debate? Net neutrality? Global warming? white background in itunes?

    Honestly, I think all politicians suck.

    This story is good for about 100 comments and a whole lot of pop up revenue.

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