Skip to comments.FCC Moves to Regulate Internet
Posted on 06/18/2010 7:43:56 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on Thursday to begin the formal process of bringing the Internet under greater federal control a move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski--even though federal law calls for an Internet "unfettered by Federal or State regulation."
This step comes after the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in April rebuked the FCC in its attempt to enforce a controversial regulatory doctrine called Net Neutrality, which would allow the government to prevent private Internet providers from deciding which applications to allow on their networks.
The court said that the FCC did not have the authority to prevent Comcast, specifically, from blocking certain peer-to-peer Web sites.
The FCC is now trying to reclassify the Internet to broaden its authority over the Web. Currently, the FCC only has ancillary authority, meaning it can regulate Internet access only in the process of regulating another service that it has direct authority over, such as television or cable.
The 3-2 party-line vote on Thursday at the FCC began the formal process of reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service its current classification. This is necessary because, as an information service, the government has little power to regulate Internet networks.
As a telecommunications service, such as a telephone network, the Internet would fall under a much broader regulatory scope giving the government the power to enforce universal service requirements, making them pay into a federal universal service fund used to provide communications services to poor areas.
The FCC will now begin the mandatory public comment period, where it will solicit input from private companies and citizens about whether it should reclassify the Internet and, if so, how it should do it.
The Commission has three options for going forward. First, it can decide not to reclassify the Internet at all, continuing to treat it as an information service. Second, the FCC can completely reclassify the Internet as a telecommunications service, granting the Commission broad powers over it. Third, it could seek a middle ground, reclassifying the Internet as a telecom service but exempting Internet providers from most of the regulations associated with other telecommunications services.
This last approach, presented at the hearing as the third way, is the preferred avenue of Genachowski, who unveiled the plan in May.
The third way approach would still allow the government the authority to heavily regulate the Internet because it would be classified as a telecom service. However, under this approach, the FCC claims it will exercise forbearance, a regulatory doctrine whereby the government promises not use its regulatory authority in most cases.
Commissioner Michael Copps, at the FCC, sought to frame the issue in terms of consumer protection, claiming that consumers find themselves in quite a box because government, he claimed, had been all but shorn of the authority to regulate Internet service.
Copps said he was worried about relying purely on the private sector for Internet-based innovation, saying that the problems of such an approach could be seen in the 2008 financial collapse and the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
We need to reclaim our authority, Copps said.
FCC seal Robert McDowell, the commissions longest-serving Republican member, said the commission should preserve the free Internet of today, adding that more Internet freedom would be in the public interest.
An open and freedom-enhancing Internet is what we have today, McDowell said.
McDowell also said that reclassifying the Internet was unnecessary and that the FCC should wait for Congress to grant it explicit authority over the Web, saying, We are not Congress.
In fact, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which gave the government no explicit authority to regulate Internet service, states: It is the policy of the United States to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation.
When asked whether the FCCs plans violated this provision, Genachowski said that the light touch nature of his third way approach did not violate the Acts explicit mandate to preserve a free and open market.
We need to have a [regulatory] framework for broadband access that is a light touch framework, he said. That is what we had before and what everyone assumed was the case before the Comcast decision. To me, a central purpose of this process is to determine what is a framework that is available to us that restores the status quo.
To be struck down by the SCOTUS again and probably held in contempt.
We all saw this coming from the skinny Mussolini.
EVERYTHING this administration does involves more money going into their coffers. Cap and Tax, the BP escrow fund, TARP, this FCC garbage... all of it means more money flowing into the Feds with nothing to show for it in meaningful output.
its called Rape the Nation
> To be struck down by the SCOTUS again and probably held in contempt.
The SCOTUS is in the process of being stacked by 0 and his merry comrades.
If they delay the case long enough, they’ll have what they need to give them what they want.
But November is coming ....
This is a very BAD idea. USA is the new China.
So how long before this ‘Mussolini’ is hung upside down?
Sterilization is coming in November. The maggots will be cleansed.
But it is impolite to ask the Marxist usurper to prove his citizenship.
It’s like the settling of the Old West. We’ll look back one day and recall the days when the internet was a wild and free domain (no pun intended.)
Ask doctors, bankers, or auto executives about the Obammy Administrations’ “light touch”
Not soon ehough!!
More Obama power grab from the FTC.
Obama Administration Wants Govt Control of Media
Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of Obama’s Federal Trade Commission, is at the epicenter of a quiet movement to subsidize news organizations, a first step toward government control of the media.
Now Leibowitz has begun to pounce. A May 24 working paper on “reinventing” the media proposes that the government impose fees on websites such as the Drudge Report that link to news websites or that it tax consumer electronics such as iPads, laptops, and Kindles. Funds raised by these levies would be redistributed to traditional media outlets.
> So how long before this Mussolini is hung upside down?
I suspect his demise will start this November, when he loses at least the House.
Nancy Pelosi will no longer be speaker, and Reid probably will not even be re-elected.
RINOs are being overthrown as well. It is likely that even McCain will be retired.
A lot of the DonkeycRATs who went-along-to-get-along with Zer0 mania have gotten the message, and the smart ones are swinging to the right.
It’s possible that the new Republican House will be more conservative than any House we’ve had for generations.
The court will have no problem allowing regulation if it so chooses. They'll define what a "vibrant and free market" is and they'll define what "unfettered" means. Rather than interpret the words in absolute terms, they will presume the words can be qualified (by themselves), and will invent "tests" to determine whether a law meets their invented standard for vibrancy, freedom, and unfetteredness.
Must we become like Chona? Soon we will have no 1st amendment rights. I pish on their shadows and curse the FCC and Barry Soetoro.