Democracy & Technology Blog Lawmakers caution FCC on Internet regulation

A letter signed by 74 House Democrats warns FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that imposing telephone-style regulation on the Internet could undermine a bipartisan consensus that has resulted in broadband industry infrastructure investment of approximately $60 billion per year.

In the last decade, multiple providers and the hundreds of thousands of workers they employ have brought high speed connections to 95 percent of U.S. households where two-thirds of Americans now access the Internet through broadband at home.

The lawmakers claim Genachowski’s proposal to regulate broadband services will create uncertainty that will “jeopardize jobs and deter needed investment for years to come,” and requests that the FCC refrain from taking further steps to regulate broadband services without additional direction from Congress.
A separate letter from 37 Republican senators cautions Genachowski that he is seeking a “major shift in FCC policy that is highly controversial and has been previously rejected by Congress and both Democratic and Republican administrations.” The senators advise Genachowski to leave the Internet “free from common carrier regulations.”

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.