Americans For Tax Reform, National
Taxpayers Union, the Center for Individual Liberty and other big
government critics making up the Internet Freedom Coalition (IFC) have
put the FCC's Title II reclassification alongside health
care and financial services reform as a new regulatory regime to take
"Without cause or provocation, the FCC
is on a reckless pursuit to regulate the Internet," IFC said announcing
its filing at the FCC (Title II comments are due today, Aug. 12). They
called the FCC's proposal to reclassify Internet
access service under some Title II common carrier regulations as a
"potentially disastrous" move.
They argue the Commission should not
rush in with "radical, unilateral action" where the Congress has so far
chosen not to tread. "Those who argue that the Commission must rush to
regulate merely because Congressional policymaking
will take more time ignore both the proper role of the legislative
branch of government and the proper role of deliberation in a free,
democratic society. The Commission must consider the fact that the
Congress may have refrained from regulating the Internet
because they see no compelling reason to do so," IFC wrote in its
IFC says if the FCC does proceed with Title II, the courts will likely hold the decision arbitrary and capricious.
Taking a page from an op-ed in The Wall
Street Journal by Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell last month,
the group warns that the Title II "misclassification" could prompt the
International Telecommunications Union to assert
authority over parts of the Internet. And unlike the UN, McDowell
pointed out in his piece, the U.S. does not have veto power over the
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has
gotten pushback from a majority of House members on his so called "third
way" proposal for Title II classificaiont, and has been trying to get
stakeholdesr on both sides to find common ground
on a bill that would clarify its broadband regulatory authority so that
it can expand and codify its network openness principles and implement
the national broadband plan without fear of lawsuits.
By day's end, many more comments are
expected to flood the already crowded docket--more than 41,000 comments,
most (38,729 at press time) coming in the past 30 days as Free Press
and other groups supporting strong network neutrality
rules pushed the public to weigh in.
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