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Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to enact the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, reversing regulation of Internet service providers (ISPs) under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and returning to a Title I framework that existed for all but the past two years of Internet history. In 2015, FCC inappropriately caved to pressure from President Obama and progressive activists and installed heavy-handed utility-style regulation under Title II to preserve so-called “net neutrality.” This occurred despite any evidence of a systemic market failure and in spite of warnings from many, including FreedomWorks, that such forms of regulation have historically stifled investment, innovation, and competition in other sectors, including telecommunications. FreedomWorks is delighted by the news that this FCC, under the leadership of Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, has voted to return to a more reasonable and proven regulatory framework for ISPs.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon offered the following comments:
“While this debate has been marred by gross exaggeration by progressive ‘net neutrality’ advocates, it is hard to understate the importance of today’s FCC vote.
“The real threat to a free and open Internet has always been government regulation, as other nations around the world prove daily. With this move, FCC acknowledges that nothing good can come of a handful of bureaucrats in Washington charting the course for the most dynamic engine for economic growth the world has ever seen. This rule change will allow for companies to invest in delivering better Internet service to Main Street than filling offices on K Street.
“For that reason alone, despite many other great benefits, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order is the rare case of something coming out of Washington that lives up to its name. I applaud and thank FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr for their leadership and fortitude in what has been an unnecessarily arduous process.”
FreedomWorks Foundation’s Director of the Regulatory Action Center Ken Cuccinelli offered the following comments:
"As someone who has been on the front lines of fighting the falsely-named 'net neutrality' since 2010, I am very excited to see freedom breaking out once again on the Internet with the passage of Chairman Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Today's success puts America's Internet back in line with the old saying, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Government's 'fixes', such as so-called net neutrality, reduce freedom, slow innovation and investment, and leave government picking winners and losers. That does not work well for America. This is a great day for Internet freedom!"