Sometime in the next several months, a federal appellate court will choose between two narratives used to describe the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision earlier this year to regulate the Internet as a public utility using “net neutrality” rules:
- Was the FCC simply implementing the law as Congress had always intended; or
- Was net neutrality a ploy for an Internet power grab by three unelected bureaucrats?
A twitter conversation with net neutrality proponent Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, indicates that the FCC’s version of “net neutrality” is the government’s “great Internet power grab.” The law does not require the FCC to regulate the Internet as public utility, and in the view of net neutrality opponents, the law does not even permit the FCC to do so. To the extent Congress has expressly addressed the “Internet” in the Communications Act, the law states, “It is the policy of the United States . . . to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that [previously] exist[ed] for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”
This truth is the reason that Free Press is so vehement about its disingenuous suggestion that “the law” has always required the FCC to regulate the Internet as a public utility. Read More