Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today slammed FCC Chairman Genachowski's latest attempt to impose "net neutrality" without the consent of Congress. After the Federal Appeals Court ruled that the FCC lacked the authority to impose "net neutrality" unilaterally, Chairman Genachowski this week audaciously announced that he would pursue internet regulation through Title II reclassification. This means that the Internet will now be regulated as a common carrier like telephones.
Blackburn, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee with jurisdiction over the FCC, objects to "net neutrality" because it will increase the cost of internet service, weaken intellectual property protections, and is a disincentive to innovation and expansion of internet infrastructure.
Most importantly, under proposed "net neutrality" regulations the federal government would decide what moves first, second, third, or not at all through the internet; putting the federal government in the troubling position of assigning value to content.
"Chairman Genachowski's announcement amounts to nothing more than another bureaucratic powergrab. It will have serious consequences and will no doubt stifle investment and innovation by Internet Service Providers who collectively invest $60 billion annually in building out the networks we all rely so heavily on. No justification has been given for reclassifying Broadband under Title II, other than the Obama Administration's political need to follow through on a campaign pledge to impose "net neutrality" regulations. Congress is being circumvented once again in favor of big government regulation by unaccountable big government bureaucrats."
Blackburn is sponsor of H.R. 3924, a bill that would prohibit the FCC from imposing "net neutrality" without express permission from Congress.