FCC, Net Neutrality, and the War on Technology and Investment

By the Discovery Institute, Special for  USDR

“Today’s party-line vote by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse three decades of bipartisan communications policy threatens to jeopardize investment and innovation in the network by opening the door to the possibility of pervasive regulation,” said Hance Haney the Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C.  (http://www.discovery.org/tech/)

The Discovery Institute has warned the commission that the classification of broadband Internet access services is a matter of statutory definition, not a policy choice for  commissioners.

“The central issue is whether broadband combines telecommunications and computing, and the marketplace reality is that these complementary functions are becoming more integrated all the time,” added  Haney.

The current definition has been upheld by the Supreme Court (2002), and there have been no significant changes to the broadband marketplace that should lead the commission to reconsider its prior classification decisions and the courts to  affirm.

Reclassification would not prohibit differential pricing arrangements, such as “pay-for-priority.”  Title II of the Communications Act prohibits “unjust or unreasonable discrimination” and “undue or unreasonable preference or  advantage.”

Haney pointed out that scholars have noted: “price discrimination remains the norm rather than the exception across the telephone  industry.”

Selected Commentary of the Discovery Institute’s Hance Haney on net  neutrality:

Comments and Reply Comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality  proposals.

Tax Consequences of Net Neutrality, by Hance Haney, Technology Liberation Front (Oct. 21,  2014).

How Much Tax? by Hance Haney, Technology Liberation Front (Oct. 30,  2014).

The Myth That Title II Regulation of Broadband and Wireless Would Be Comparable, by Hance Haney, Technology Liberation Front(Nov. 19,  2014).

Controlling the Internet, by Hance Haney, The Stream (Feb. 24,  2015).

SOURCE Discovery  Institute

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