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Net Freedom, GOP Style

The party platform adopted at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week included a commitment to Internet freedom, but defi nitely not the version the Democratic-controlled FCC backed in its network-neutrality rules.

In the section entitled “Protecting Internet Freedom,” the GOP platform says: “We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice, video and data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem.”

And while it uses the “innovation” and “competition” and “Internet eco-system” buzzwords of the current FCC and the Obama administration, the Republican Party has not suddenly dropped its opposition to the FCC’s version of that landscape.

“[T]he FCC’s net-neutrality rule is trying to micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network,” the GOP platform says, painting the Democratic approach as Luddite. “The current administration has been frozen in the past. It has conducted no auction of spectrum [and] has offered no incentives for investment.”

Not to be trumped on the net neutrality front, President Obama took to Reddit to say his party remains committed to Internet Freedom. “I won’t stray from that principle—and it will be reflected in the platform,” Obama said.