Once again, the Left is trying to take control of the internet. With the introduction of the “Save the Internet Act,” Speaker Pelosi has shown the true color of leftists: avoid real solutions and focus on fundraising.
The Democrats’ Save the Internet Act is nothing new. In fact, it would reinstate the outdated and onerous Obama era net neutrality regulations first introduced in 2015.
This latest push should only be taken seriously, not for its substantive policy ideas, but because an actual sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives is proposing it. Taken with other Democrat proposals such as the “Green New Deal” it should be seen for what it truly is, an effort to stir up the base and spark a fundraising campaign.
During the Obama Administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) used utility-style regulations from the 1930s to give the federal government complete control over the internet. This decision meant that every action taken by internet service providers (ISPs) required government approval. Thankfully, this bureaucratic boondoggle was overturned in 2017 when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the Obama era rules, liberating the internet from the grip of burdensome government regulations.
Now the Left is at it again and there appears to be no limit to what they would like the federal government to have complete control over. If they really cared about creating a more free and fair internet then they would draft a bill that applies to everyone, not just ISPs. Under Pelosi’s proposal, the principles of no blocking, throttling, and censoring of content would only apply to ISPs and not internet companies such as Facebook and Google. Surely these companies should be held accountable as well, if the intent is to create real net neutrality and abolish content discrimination. Otherwise these internet giants could squash emerging competition and innovation from smaller companies and new entrepreneurs.
Can’t the Left see that this gambit to reinstate Obama’s 2015 net neutrality order will hurt investment? Regulations created in 1934 have no place governing the modern internet. Burdensome proposals such as these will only create risk and uncertainty, which will decrease investment in the internet. This was proven most recently when Obama’s net neutrality order was repealed in 2017 and investment by U.S. broadband companies increased by nearly $1.5 billion.
The Left has been pushing net neutrality for years now, but what do they have to show for their efforts? They claim that without government interference, monopolies will take control of the internet and bottleneck access for consumers. But time and time again this claim has been proven wrong. For decades the free market has led to internet innovations that have increased broadband investment and promoted internet market competition.
Our strong conservative, free-market principled members of Congress, like Florida Congressman Gaetz and others, need to push back on this proposal. Congress should work to find a lasting solution to net neutrality and finally put an end to this debate.
Dr. Robert McClure serves as the President and CEO of The James Madison Institute, Florida’s premier free-market think tank.
Note – this article first appeared in Newsmax, here, and is reprinted with permission from the author: Save the Internet Act Isn’t a Real Solution | Newsmax.com