ObamaCare for the Internet? ISPs and Friends Lash Out at President
Internet service providers and their supporters are mad as hell at President Obama for supporting reclassification of broadband as a utility.
While consumer advocates applauded the president, ISPs, their friends in Congress, and industry consortiums issued a series of statements calling reclassification a worst case scenario that will ruin the Internet.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) got the ball rolling by tweeting “‘Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet.”
AT&T Senior Executive VP Jim Cicconi believes treating broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, similar to the traditional telephone network, “will do tremendous harm to the Internet and to US national interests. It is a complete reversal of a bipartisan policy that has been in place since the Clinton Administration—namely, to treat Internet access as an information service subject to light-touch regulation. This classification of Internet service has been upheld by the Supreme Court and has enjoyed strong Congressional support for nearly a generation. Now, with one statement, the White House is telling the FCC to ignore this precedent and to instead impose on the entire Internet—from end to end—onerous government regulation designed in the 1930s for a Bell phone monopoly that no longer exists, not for a 21st century technology. This will have a negative impact not only on investment and innovation, but also on our economy overall.”
While Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband, the FCC is an independent agency and doesn’t have to follow his advice. A decision is expected next year. AT&T threatened a lawsuit, saying it would “participate in a legal challenge” against reclassification of broadband.