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Blog

    The FCC: Rhetoric vs. Reality

    06/18/2010

    The Federal Communications Commission’s new scheme to regulate the internet provides yet another example of a government agency desperately attempting to seize power. This has become such a common occurrence in government operation that it rarely even makes the news anymore. But, this power grab still ought to be treated as an affront to competition and the free market—even if this has become a norm.

    Below, I have attached the video of Julius Genachowski announcing FCC’s new plan. His claims are as vague as they are quixotic.

    To specifically address a few:
     
    Genachowski says: “Broadband is a platform for opportunity and job creation, a platform for innovation.” 
     
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a statement today that succinctly explains how blatantly false this claim is: “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.”

    He continues by saying: “Why does America need a strategic plan for broadband? To compete globally, and to create real opportunity here at home. The rest of the world is not standing still and we’re lagging in critical ways.”

    In what ways are we lagging? Genachowski never specifies. As for competing globally, it is safe to say that America dominates the internet. In fact, 8 of 10 of the top visited websites on the internet are American based companies. “Real opportunity” has been created by a decade without interference and regulation. The new policies will take away our competitive edge and allow other countries to surpass us.

    He goes on to claim: “We need to embrace the goal of universal digital literacy… Every child in America must be digitally literate by the time he or she leaves high school.”

    I come from a rural community where many families live below the poverty line, and I can say with confidence that there is no lack of “digital literacy.” Children are already learning how to use the internet effectively at school; 99 percent of public schools in America have access to it. 
     
    Genachowski closes his speech by stating: this process will be “an open discussion…I urge everyone to get engaged.” 
     
    Here at FreedomWorks, we urge everyone to get engaged, too. Call your Congressman and voice your disapproval for the FCC’s attempt at regulating the internet.