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July 17, 2017

IPI Urges FCC Reversal of Title II Broadband Reclassification

  Institute for Policy Innovation

DALLAS – In comments filed today, the Institute for Policy Innovation applauded the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom rulemaking, especially the agency’s reversal on the Wheeler FCC’s “most unfortunate and unnecessary error”-- the 2015 mistake of reclassifying broadband as a Title II common carrier communications service.

“Under Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC distinctly departed from sound policy analysis, disregarded empirical evidence, showed contempt for input from Congress and other federal agencies, neglected cost-benefit and other economic analysis, and stubbornly pursued a narrow ideological agenda,” said IPI president Tom Giovanetti.

“There is compelling evidence that the Title II reclassification was based on faulty or non-existent economic and industry analysis; that it was imposed through an illegitimate rulemaking process; that it represented a 180 degree reversal of FCC policies proven effective over time, and that it should be reversed at the Commission’s earliest opportunity,” said Giovanetti, also pointing out that investment by wireline and wireless ISPs has sharply – and predictably –  declined since the Title II reclassification.

“And while net neutrality has been an ever-changing set of principles, rules, fears and delusions, it never included the stifling amount of regulatory potential made possible through reclassification under Title II,” he said. “The fact that industry and other stakeholders assert support for net neutrality but strongly oppose Title II regulation underscores the fact that Title II represents government control of the internet far in excess of the principles of net neutrality.”

Furthermore, Giovanetti reminded the FCC that it is a technical and non-democratic agency charged with implementation of major policies enacted by the legislature, whose task is not to make major policies on its own. “The fact that Americans are petitioning the FCC rather than their elected representatives is an indication that the FCC wields more power over the communications marketplace than is appropriate in a representative democracy,” he said.




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