Today, the President is formally urging the FCC to preempt state laws that protect taxpayers from funding wasteful, muni-provided broadband systems. That action, among others ostensibly designed to boost the roll-out of broadband, is not only unwarranted, it is downright offensive to states, the free marketplace and Internet innovation.
It is not by accident that the President has waited until the fourth-quarter of his presidency to announce this and similarly controversial calls for the regulation of the Internet via 1934-era regulation. Like his “independent” FCC, the President seeks to impose law through unctuous loophole, against the will of Congress, as well as that of the voters, who in 2014 voted for less government intervention in their lives, not more; against those who, in the states he wants his FCC to preempt, voted to protect themselves from waste and abuse. The President and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler know their policies stand on dubious legal foundations, but, heck, possession being nine-tenth’s of the law, they’re going ahead with them anyway. Just because they can.
Their actions take bullying to a new level.
$7 billion of U.S. Taxpayer money was spent on the so-called broadband stimulus of 2009. The FCC administers nearly $8 billion-plus yearly in Universal Service funding to connect Americans. The Department of Agriculture guarantees hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars of loans each year to bring communications out to the hinterlands. Yet these programs, and others, are somehow not enough to bring broadband service – conveniently defined by them as many-times more than the market can presently bear – to Americans.
It is clear that the only guiding principle in this lawless administration is this: If it deems it wants something it shall take it. Or, lacking that ability outright, it shall undermine and futz with the marketplace so thoroughly that government-provided “solutions” look to be the only viable way out of their connivance.
Plainly, the bullies at the White House and the FCC will not stop until they have taken all of our lunch money. But facts are stubborn. The broadband market is growing, dynamic and vibrant. It is delivering. It will continue to do so. That is, if government can stay out of the way. That model works. It was what built the privately-funded Internet we now know and enjoy.
The President’s and the FCC’s work of late goes in the opposite direction. Exactly one year ago to the day that a Federal Court threw out the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules to “boost broadband deployment,” like a creepy stalker violating his TRO, the President has come back to revisit the crime scene to exact “broadband justice”. Not only will his actions give local residents a black eye, they will do bodily harm to the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and ecosystem innovation.
Americans should vociferously defend themselves against the President’s latest proposal. Congress, not the President or his “independent” FCC, is the only proper place to make this policy.
All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.