FCC Effort to Regulate the Internet Jeopardizes Jobs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
WASHINGTON, D.C.–“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today expressed deep concern about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) notice of inquiry (NOI) on the best legal framework for broadband Internet access. “Regulating the dynamic, competitive broadband industry with rules originally designed for monopoly-era telephone service should not be an option,” said William L. Kovacs, senior vice president for Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “The FCC is pursuing a path that jeopardizes the tremendous investment, innovation, consumer choice, and job creation evidenced in today’s broadband marketplace.”
An NOI is often the preliminary first-step before launching a full-blown rulemaking proceeding. The FCC is considering whether to abandon its successful, light-regulatory touch approach toward broadband. The NOI asks for comment on regulating broadband service providers as heavily-regulated common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, and on a “third-way” approach proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that would apply to some but not all of the Title II provisions.
“Despite a devastating court loss and warnings from nearly 300 members of Congress, the FCC seems determined to claim authority over certain broadband activities even though it is clear that the agency lacks the necessary statutory authority,” Kovacs said. “Congress, not the FCC, has the power to decide the appropriate regulatory framework for broadband and whether any changes are necessary. We urge Congress to intervene.”
Title II broadband regulation or similar rules could lead to the loss of at least 502,000 U.S. jobs and a projected annual $62 billion negative impact on the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, according to a recent study released by the Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School.
“Given these turbulent economic times and the enormous cost of building out broadband infrastructure, the United States cannot afford policies creating regulatory uncertainty that would hinder private-sector investment in broadband infrastructure,” concluded Kovacs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.