First, the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee is acting to undo the FCC’s sidestep around the courts to impose so-called “net neutrality” rules.
The congressional assault on network neutrality regulations adopted by the Democratic-led Federal Communications Commission in December continues Wednesday, when the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee votes on a “resolution of disapproval” designed to derail the requirements, which prohibit the blocking or degrading of online competitors.
So, what’s so bad about this? Imagine you build a railroad, so you can make some money delivering freight to the locations along your line. A would-be competitor decides this is unfair, since his delivery via truck is much more expensive, and not as efficient. So…should he be given the right to use YOUR line to deliver HIS freight, with exactly the same cost and priority as you do? That could be called “freight neutrality”…sort of reminds me of something out of Atlas Shrugged, when stated in those terms.’
When put in terms of the interned, it becomes “Net Neutrality”, additional regulation of the most free and open part of the economy, which will inevitably result in degradation of the net, as elaborated on by House Speaker Boehner commenting on the same issue, as well as the problem of the ballooning national debt:
Boehner rips bid to regulate Internet
Debt likened to Sputnik threat
House Speaker John A. Boehner lashed out against efforts to regulate Internet traffic before an audience of evangelical Christian media leaders and pointedly responded to President Obama by comparing the challenge of the burgeoning national debt to the Sputnik-era space race.
In a speech to religious broadcasters that received a sustained ovation at his conclusion, he said free expression is under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio.
“We see this threat in how the FCC is creeping further into the free market by trying to regulate the Internet,” Mr. Boehner said. “The last thing we need, in my view, is the FCC serving as Internet traffic controller, and potentially running roughshod over local broadcasters who have been serving their communities with free content for decades,”
Sounds about right, as does this:
But, the Ohio Republican warned, one threat “dwarfs others in terms of the danger it poses to freedom and our children’s future.”
“You may recall President Obama, in his State of the Union address, talking about a ‘Sputnik moment,’ the moment that shocks our generation into getting serious. In my view, America’s ‘Sputnik moment’ is our shocking national debt,” he said.
Boehner also commented on another fundamental communication issue that has been under some discussion recently:
Mr. Boehner also inveighed against any effort to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” whose 1987 elimination led to the rise of a vibrant talk-radio industry.
“Our new majority is committed to seeing that the government does not reinstate the Fairness Doctrine,” he said.
Mr. Boehner said Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon Republican, “has teamed up with another former broadcaster, Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana, to introduce legislation to help keep the airwaves free. I expect the House to act on this measure as well.”