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.]


  1. Q: When did Libs come to love gov’t so much?
    A: When they finally figured out that they could profit handsomely from it.

    Ain’t that the God’s honest truth (if I do say so myself)!

  2. p.s. The two tier internet proposed by the wireless industry will hurt devices like the iPhone most. I am surprised that so many mac users are against keeping a level playing field for all. The internet should remain open. Not charged according to what device you use to connect to it or what content type you consume.

  3. John,

    Read this if you can:

    The 2008 financial collapse originated with a political effort to expand mortgage lending to consumers who could not meet normal credit-worthiness standards. What was later to be called the subprime problem began as an affordable home effort that shoved aside market-based constraints. The impetus came with congressional strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act, the Federal Housing Administration’s loosening of down-payment standards, and with pressure exerted on mortgage lenders by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to lend to the unqualified. As might be expected, the most politically responsive mortgage lenders were the two government enterprises, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which had been organized politically to expand U.S. homeownership opportunities.


  4. Bad debt. (sub-prime mortage defaults), creates losses for lenders.

    Over-leverageing (lending way more money than you actually have) brings down the entire banking industry when prices go down.

    They entire banking industry had its hand in the till. Thiefs!

    Thats what Laissez-faire gets you.

  5. Superior being: “originate” does noe equal “cause”. Debts go bad all the time. It was what the banks did to hid risk and basically lie that caused the system to collapse.

    Left to their own devices they stole our money.

  6. Bravo senators! Way to look out for the little guy by letting the market’s super benevolent corporations decide! Hey MAC lemmings, don’t be so gullible to think ISPs are all about profits and defending their turf by rigging access to preferred sites. They simply want to provide a service at a fair price for you the customer without silly government regulations screwing things up. Remember what they almost did it to Microsoft, an American treasure.

    The market works best when there are no rules. It’s called survival of the fittest and sissy, itty-bitty market share MAC would be the first one to go. You can have my throttled and manipulated internet connection when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  7. John,

    It’s because of fools like you that we have a half-term freshman senator / “community organizer” in the White House and in way, way over his head.

    – Ohioan praying for a real Conservative candidate in 2012.

  8. Rethugnicans acting as corporate shills? This is news?

    If a Rethugnican was acting on behalf of the public or opposing the expansion of corporate power it would be news.

    Before the ‘free market’ zombies attack hear me out.

    The telcos run their lines across your property WITHOUT your permission, WITHOUT compensation to you under the eminent domain power granted them by the government and then oppose any effort to in any way regulate them. If they want a truly free market, start paying me for the right to run your damn cables on my land. The permission to run lines without your consent or compensation amounts to a subsidy worth tens of billions of dollars.

    I do not oppose a free market- I oppose crony capitalism. That is largely what we have in the US.

  9. @John: That wasn’t laissez-faire, though. The sub-prime crisis, and over-leveraged lenders were the opposite of laissez-faire. They were the result of focused government intervention and bad policy.

    @gzero: “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.”

    And that’s what gets us into trouble, starting with the notion that governmen regulation is itself a good thing. Your first post reveals your ignorance of the true American heritage. Go back and read how we got where we were in the 18th century. This country was founded on a mistrust of government power. Forget politicians; the Founders and the public know that individuals, even well-intended ones, cannot be trusted. So, they created a framework of institutions intended to hobble the over-aggregation of government power itself. The mistrust of government power, not merely individual politicians, is in the American DNA. Thank goodness.

  10. American got where it was by killing the natives and anyone else who got in its way. And above all by using oil. When the oil eventually runs out so will the USA unless it does something intellingent besides brute force, money talks, soon.

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